Narrow Roads April 2016

Bob_Anton_Narrow_RoadI hope that you will excuse me, but I don’t have a ‘spiritual’ article for you this month. I’m not feeling particularly spiritual right now. In fact, I’m feeling pretty down from a combination of Long Island Winter and a country that has become ideologically black and white or red and blue if you prefer. For some reason, reason and compromise has gone out the window and ideological purity is everything. But I digress. What’s pushed me over the edge this week is an article that I recently read about a middle aged Florida woman and her 6’ pet alligator named Rambo. Rambo was the only survivor of 5 alligators adopted by Mary Thorn of Lakeland Florida, as part of an animal rescue. Miss Thorn, who studied Animal Science/Behavior at Poke College, has legally owned her pet alligator for 11 years.

Now as difficult as it is to believe, over the past 11 years, Miss Thorn claims to have domesticated this alligator. Well, at least as domesticated as any reptile can be. Miss Thorn’s Facebook page is adorned with numerous photos of Rambo in various costumes, lounging in the grass, sitting on a quad, resting on Miss Thorns lap and even behind the wheel of her pickup truck. She claims that the animal is very safe and has never bitten anyone and that includes her three dogs which share her house.

Now all this may sound extremely strange and honestly it is. If it weren’t for the fact that Miss Thorn is on the horns of dilemma this would be nothing more than a very odd human, errr….alligator interest story. But here’s the rub. Recently, Rambo reached a rather dubious milestone. He turned 6 feet long and as we all know, size matters for gators, particularly in Florida where 5’11” is the maximum length for a gator to be kept by a private owner on less than 2.5 acres of land. Miss Thorn does not live on 2.5 acres, so despite having a license to own Rambo, she can no longer keep him legally. This has Florida Wildlife Commission personnel looking very closely at her case. If they find against Miss Thorn, Rambo will be taken away and likely placed in an alligator sanctuary where Miss Thorn is convinced he will quickly be killed by other gators. Again, I know it’s crazy, but this is her pet. Judging from the video and photos on Facebook, this animal wouldn’t last a minute with real gators…No offense Rambo. Check her out on Facebook and you will see that as strange as it may seem, she is in love with this alligator and he for his part, well he hasn’t tried to eat her or her dogs in eleven years so that’s a rave as far as gators are concerned.

So what’s my point? Nothing other than this; what ever happened to ‘live and let live’? The idea that my freedoms end where yours begin seemed to have worked for our society for a very long time. In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Church in Thessalonica, he wrote… “…..make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” Sounds like excellent advice for everyone. It’s not surprising that a Nation built upon biblical principles should apply such a libertarian concept as part of its foundation and framework.

I truly hope that Mary Thorn gets to keep her pet gator. So what if it’s weird? So what if he’s 6 foot long. Leave the lady and her pet alone. It’s clear that they’re not bothering anyone. If someday he takes a bite out of her, she looks more than capable of making Rambo into a nice pair of boots. Until then, why not live and let live. That’s the American way, at least it used to be.
You think about that.
God Bless You and See You on the Road.

Bob Anton: Christian Motorcyclists Association
For more information on CMA or questions or comments concerning this column, please contact Bob Anton at 631-897-8122 or