Natchez boys find adventure at lake

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 24, 1999

Four Natchez boys got a close-up look at at their favorite alligator Sunday while playing on family property in north Adams County.

The group makes regular trips to the property, often taking time to bother the alligator.

&uot;They just throw sticks at him,&uot; said property owner Butch Johnson.

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The Democrat dart found Johnson, his son Andrew and three other boys, Chas Moroney, Colby Godfrey and Paul Hendrix spending the day near Thornburg Lake Sunday.

&uot;We really enjoy it,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;It’s a great place to come bring the kids to play.&uot;

The alligator they find there is unusual because he seems not to fear people. Johnson said he can drive his four-wheeler within a foot of the alligator and it won’t bother him.

&uot;The first time or two I saw him, I thought he was sick,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I walked over to it and kicked it. Boy, it came to life then.&uot;

But this alligator behaves better with adults than children.

&uot;He’s scared of us,&uot; Andrew said.

After being harassed by the boys Sunday, the alligator hid in his hole and refused to be photographed.

&uot;They scared him up in the mud pretty good,&uot; Johnson said. &uot;I’m not sure if he’s going to come back out for a while or not.&uot;

Colby described the alligator as being between 6 and 7 feet long. &uot;He’s not that big,&uot; he said.

But alligator or no alligator, the group still enjoyed their time in the woods.

Thornburg Lake runs on one end of the property and is fed annually by the Mississippi River.

Johnson said he has been coming to the area since he was in high school, and now he is passing on that tradition to the next generation.

The boys also had fun playing in the mud surrounding a man-made pond. &uot;The muddier the better,&uot;&160;Butch said. &uot;We come every weekend.&uot;

Four-wheeling is another favorite activity.

&uot;Oh yeah, they like that, can’t hardly make ’em walk anymore,&uot; Johnson said.