Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss

Colleen Thompson | The Goose Bump Award

May 28, 2009

Some people fear spiders. For others, it takes rats or scorpions or snakes to really rev up the old goose bumps.

For me, it’s alligators. American alligators, in particular those big brutes lurking the lakes and bayous near the Texas-Louisiana border. I’m fascinated by the creatures, which seem like something left over from the pre-human prehistoric past (which indeed, they are).

While researching my latest romantic thriller, Beneath Bone Lake, I learned some fascinating facts about alligators. For one thing, their eyeballs always orient themselves so the slit-like pupil is vertical, even when the animal is rolling to drown its intended prey. Creepy, huh? In Texas, some are up to 16 feet long, and they more and more frequently wander into the human realm, from golf course ponds to backyard pools (yikes!) But in spite of their reptilian indifference to our charms and their nasty eating habits, I learned that at least in this state (I’m still talking Texas), there has never been a recorded case of human predation by an alligator. (There have been some injuries, many provoked by human idiocy, but basically, if you keep a respectful distance and use your head, you’re off the menu.)

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  • Joni Rodgers May 28, 2009 at 9:59 am

    All right, I’m fessing up. I DO find bunnies very creepy! Beady little eyes, that weird cleft mouth, and I have no idea what sound they make when plunged into boiling water, but thank goodness they didn’t show it in “Fatal Attraction.” And then there’s “Donnie Darko”…


  • Lark May 28, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Rats. Hands down. No contest. Nothing even close. I carry lizards, spiders, frogs, snakes to safety when they find themselves trapped inside. Roaches deserve to die and I kill them with whatever’s handy, but only rats of all earth’s creatures totally freak me out.