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An alligator is patrolling the pond behind the house we’re currently renting in Florida. We’ve named him Roger. The girls wanted to call him Freddy but eventually agreed with me that he looks more like a Roger. When I hear the name Roger, I think of someone who means all business. This particular Roger appears to be keeping the peace in the pond, tooling around ensuring everything remains in good order.

I’d say he’s about nine or ten feet from his snout to the end of his tail. Whether or not that’s big for an alligator, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll wade out into the water to ask him. He seems friendly enough. I mean, I have noticed him on occasion taking extra care to keep an eye on us—you know, to make sure we’re following the rules. I’ll see him pause, and after a moment or two of me looking elsewhere, I’ll glance back to see he’s hovered a little closer to the shore.

It sure is nice to know he’s there for us.

Not to worry, though. We’re making our vacation ruckus from within an enclosed and approved area about fifty feet from the shoreline. And I check on him regularly, giving a nod to thank him, reminding him there’ll be no need, as the pond patrolman, to kick in the lanai screen and write any one of us a ticket. Or eat us.

I think he wrote a ticket for a raccoon earlier this morning. I saw what I thought were two of the trash pandas by the reeds near the water. Those guys can be real rabble-rousers. Anyway, I heard some splashing, and then a few moments later, I noticed one of the raccoons keeping very close to the edge of the lanai as he departed the area. What a jerk, leaving a friend behind to take the rap alone.

Well, a night in jail might do him some good—and by jail, I mean Roger’s stomach. Although, narrowly escaping such things might also be cause for celebration. Perhaps I’ll raise a finer dram to toast a troublemaker’s repentance stirred by another’s punishment. And maybe a toast to Roger is in order, too, you know, for his tireless labors toward rehabilitating the local wildlife.

In these things, the Ardbeg’s Wee Beastie edition seems appropriate.

With its signature Ardbeg nose, this whisky celebrates with a wash of peat the dirty goodness of down-in-the-muck law and order. It does so also promising its enjoyer pale fruits. I’m guessing pears. A sip sees the promise fulfilled, bringing along in its trolling glide other pome fruits, although they’re delivered generously salted but lightly peppered. Of course, the peat is there. It’s always there, lurking, through to the Wee Beastie’s opportune finish—a rolling splash that lasts just long enough to see you drown in the murky saltwater of its earthy embrace.

I like it. In fact, I may wander down to the pond to share a little with the local sheriff. He’s there right now. Although, and as always, he appears to be on duty. With that, I suppose I can wait.

Until then, here’s to you, Roger.