The Everglades National Park
FIU IDH 4007

The Adventures of Bryan Spencer

Camilo Ponton
IDH 4007
Fall 2002

   Bryan Spencer is a tough guy. He is a true adventurer. Bryan is one of those few people in the world who lives for the action. He is always looking forward for a new day full of risks and experiences. Bryan engages in one adventure after another. His life is frenetic. It is a sequence of trips around the world without any apparent pattern or logic reason. Bryan Spencer is the greatest explorer of our days. Many call him crazy, and maybe he is. But he is tough.

   Bryan Spencer has survived the attack of the wildest creatures on Earth. There has not been a great white shark able to rip off one of Bryan's legs. There has not been a Bengal tiger capable of surprising Bryan taking a nap. There has not been a creature capable of producing strong enough venom to kill Bryan Spencer. He has survived the biting of a Mexican tarantula, a black mamba, and a Komodo dragon. Once, a thousand hornets stung him at the same time, and the next day he was getting ready to scuba dive on a fire coral reef. Bryan Spencer is a survivor.

   The mighty explorer has traveled around the world. He took a sun bath in the beaches of Dubai, went ice fishing over the Bering Strait, island-hopped in the Polynesian sea, climbed the Andes Mountains hiking backwards, walked through a sand storm in Kalahari with his eyes open, swam across the Amazon River while mingling with the piranhas, and many other things. One day, he began walking east and traveled in that direction until he returned to where he had started. The globe is too small for Bryan Spencer.

   But one thing he has not done is crossing the Everglades. How could he miss that one? Of course he will not.

   With no preparation at all, he arrived at the Everglades National Park by parachuting from a military Hercules plane that was on its way to Guantanamo Base in Cuba. He plunged in the middle of nowhere, exactly as he preferred. The water was up to his knees and he loved it! He had walked half a mile when he noticed the lacerations in his arms caused by the saw grass. He definitely felt at home in those marshes.

   Spencer was a world known ornithologist and he could not miss such a unique opportunity. He promptly unpacked his 8x40, water resistant, nitrogen filled Minolta Compacts, and a copy of The Sibley's Guide to Birds, even though he had almost memorized it by that time. While he was distracted observing the magnificent iridescence on the male Boat-tailed grackle's collar, he arrived to a hardwood hammock. He decided it was a good place to rest and protect his skin from the sun. There he romped around with a Florida panther. After a short nap, Bryan was thirsty. He looked inside his pockets and found clusters of periphyton which he readily chewed and swallowed the out coming refreshing water.

   When he returned to the "River of Grass," the sun was coming down, and the mosquitoes began to thrive in the air column. Sooner than later, every square inch of Bryan's body had been pierced at least once by the bloodthirsty creatures. Unluckily enough, he could not do anything about it, because it was his fate that he was to be born allergic to N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide! It is worse for an explorer to be allergic to deet than for a fisherman to be allergic to fish. But well, he was a tough cookie. To keep himself busy with other things, he grabbed some pond apples from a nearby tree and began to taste them with ease. Soon after, he found they were bitter and decided to have some coco-plums instead.

   While Bryan continued walking through the marshes, all the airboats were returning to their docks packed with happy tourists, which will later go to relax and spend some money at the Miccosukee Hotel and Gaming Resort. At the same time, the starved alligators returned to their dens.

   The sun was nearly at the horizon and it had that spectacular red-orange coloration, remembering that the day was gone, but also giving hope for a better tomorrow. Suddenly, a dark leathered keel emerged from the waters creating a perfect "v" shaped wake. Such a creature was stealthy enough for Bryan Spencer not to notice it until it was a few feet away. When he saw the green snout, it was too late to try to escape. Of course an experienced adventurer like him was not frightened. He knew what he was dealing with. Indeed it was an Alligator mississippiensis , but he slightly underestimated its size. This was a nineteen-foot long reptile, with more teeth than a baby shark, sharper sense of smell than a wild pig, and faster than the tongue of a chameleon. Worst of all, it was a hungry beast. Bryan knew he had no chance to escape, so he decided to play a trick he learned in the Nile River. He remained still as if he were a dead log, rooted in the nutrient poor and dark bottom-soil. But this alligator was starving. It came up to the wannabe log and in a split second ended the adventurous life of Bryan Spencer with a single mortal stroke.

   Oh! The glorious explorer Bryan Spencer will roll over his grave, if he knew that he could have saved his life if he had just popped in the water that spongy, white marshmallow that he kept inside the pocket of his shirt.


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