Ballad of a Florida Panther
Words and Music by Bobby Angel
Step right up I got a story to tell. It takes place in Old Florida near a wishing well. The names and places may be re-arranged. But what went down is more or less the same. It was midnight in Salt Lake when she got the fateful call about a missing footprint of a Texas Panther paw. It sounded so peculiar, she packed her bags and sent her money in for a Florida Cougar license tag. Turns out Tamiami’s too fast for our liking, gonna hafta ban all the cars and keep it to ten-speed biking, or use lots of ripple strips, you know they work just fine. Or how about painting a panther on a couple of signs.
It isn’t simple, there’s no easy plan.
First a hundred panthers, and how her.
She took The Plan deep into the woods. Panther got one look, he said – “This ain’t no good. We need a bridge that spans from here to “there, Route the traffic down around in boats, or fly it up in the air.” Whatever happened to living on the land? That got lost to development, it’s approved in The Plan. “You mean to tell me, there’s no place left to go? First they stuck me in the mud, next they’ll send us to the snow.” “Oh, you mean the glaciers? Yeah, they’re moving in, too. What once was dry land is seeping in my shoe.” “Hurry up and mix, we’ve gotta pour the plaster before that rain cloud fills the print up any faster!”
Florida is a force sort of like fate
“Would you like some raw hog head?” “No thank you I just ate.”
Bulldozers were scraping out on the ledge. They escaped inside a high rise and stood out on the ledge. Out with the pigeons, she pulled out some flossing, then rappelled their way down to a new wildlife crossing. She ran with her feet, he with his paws. They lived on the edge of society breaking all its laws. But after a while, the read the writing on the wall and climbed through a hole in the barbed wire because the fence was too tall. Senator Abstentia gave us half an ear as the crowd of screaming fans burst into tears. A tele-evangelist called it a “question of faith,” that we’ll get the “world and more,” if only we wait.
“Don’t they know, we’re a dying breed?
We need fifteen square miles just to roam free.”
They finally were rescued in a big cage in the zoo and fed lots of horse de oeuvres – and on Tuesday Cordon Blue. Then one night the wind blew something through their minds and they hopped the fence and put twenty miles behind. Where were they going? They didn’t even know. Panther cut the trail and she just went with the flow. Until all in an instant, it showed up in a flash, Panther dove into a water hole with a wad full of cash. They boarded a plane wearing fake mustaches. Border Patrol checked his ID while she did her eyelashes. They lived on an island that they called home, behind a waterfall that shined like sports car chrome. He poured a drink in the now dying sun as she stirred the straw and sipped: “It was the perfect amount of rum.” The fish were plentiful and the mist was good for her skin. All in all, it was a real win-win.
Farewell Old Florida, you’re a distant dream
Sometimes I lie awake at and wonder what it all means.