An Uncle’s Love- for Uncle A.L.

A courageous man of action, Uncle A.L. embodied the roles of provider and protector for his wife and family; that love extended to all of his girls, nieces included. We were blessed to have him in our lives and that he left us with many memories we all cherish.

When I was young, Uncle A.L. took my parents and me to his ranch to feed an alligator residing in one of the ponds. Lana and I climbed into the back of his pickup truck while the adults rode in the front. It was great fun feeling the wind blow our hair, gazing up into the big Texas sky, and having excitement grow at the prospect of seeing a real alligator up close.

That excitement ended abruptly as Uncle A.L. brought the truck to a halt, stepped out of it with his rifle, and began shooting at a jackrabbit to feed to said gator. As the shots fired and I saw the rabbit desperately trying to escape through the tall grass, I started crying and screaming, “Don’t kill the bunny!” over and over. I remember looking at my cousin Lana, so very calm in Lana-like fashion, and wishing I weren’t the only one crying.

While my parents were surely mortified by all the hysterics, Uncle A.L. immediately put the gun down, walked to the back of the truck, and hugged his sobbing niece, saying, “I’m not gonna kill the bunny and that old gator probably isn’t hungry anyhow.” As he dried my tears with his hands that day, he became my hero.

Of course, years later he teased me about it many times and told me the poor old alligator died of starvation.

Recently I asked Lana why she was so calm, to which she replied, “Sweetie, you were hysterical enough for both of us, and I knew Dad wouldn’t shoot Thumper with you around.” So true!


Author: awhitlow2

Murder can take a long time if you’re writing about it. My name is Ashleigh, and I’m a recovering next-timer… we’ll get together next time, I’ll call you next time, I’ll write about it next time, I’ll tell you I love you next time. Then reality hit (finally) that there may not be a next time and I was stunned. What?! We only get one shot at life? Really?! I’m also a recovering slow-learner. So in light of that realization that was over 40 years in the making, I’m writing my first novel- murder, love, redemption. I’m not sure what direction it will take but am enjoying the process and isn’t that what life’s all about anyway? More importantly, I’m living with gratitude for my family; God opened my eyes to the blessings of family and I’m thankful to Him and them for hanging in there with me all these years. (Did I mention I’m a slow-learner?) I’m a mother, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin, a nurse, and a writer who LOVES to sing. Loudly. Badly. When no one else is around to hear it. Except the cat. Poor cat.

4 thoughts on “An Uncle’s Love- for Uncle A.L.”

  1. Oh Ashley this has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for putting these stories on line for us all to enjoy. I love to hear any stories that include Dad. Your writings are such a joy to read! Thank you!


  2. Ashleigh; that was just precious. I remember that day so well. Thank you for the well written remembrance. Carter was partial to you. Think you had him wrapped around your little finger. Otherwise, the gator might have gotten a decent meal. Wish we didn’t live so far apart. Tell Austin “hello” for me. Bet he’s a handsome man by now. Wish you two would drive out to Texas & show him some real country. Love you.

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