We slog through the antediluvian swamp, a diaphanous mist rises from the quagmire and a miasmal stench fills our nostrils. The authorities are pursuing us, though we have done nothing wrong. Well, Andrew has done nothing wrong. I, on the other hand, bit a man—a big, obnoxious slob of a man. He had it coming to him. He said I was the ugliest dog he had even seen. Me, Danny the Dog!
After I bit him, he pulled out his cell phone and called the cops, but Andrew and I didn’t stick around and wait for them to show up. We hightailed it out of there pronto. Now we are hunted fugitives, with a price on our heads and the law closing in. Andrew always told me I’d go to Doggie Jail if I didn’t mend my sorry-ass ways.
They are close now; we can hear their voices, so we pick up the pace. But the going is slow. The water is up to Andrew’s knees and my chin. We maneuver around a large cypress tree, and there before us is the largest alligator I’ve ever seen. In fact, it’s the only alligator I’ve ever seen. It has to be eighteen feet long if it’s an inch! Its mouth is wide open, showing the enormous teeth of the monster. I stop short and Andrew, who was behind me, trips over me and falls into that gaping, cavernous mouth. The alligator makes short work of him; now all that is left of my human is his right arm and part of his left leg.
Just kidding, folks. Andrew is always telling me I can’t write fiction. I thought I’d show him I could. However, we did meet up with an alligator the other day and I would like to tell you about it.
Actually, there was more than one encounter. The first was three days ago. We were walking in the park where we go every morning. Let me stop and back up for a minute. Andrew and I live in Florida, and the park we go to has a sign saying, “No Swimming—alligator in lagoon.” Andrew and I never believed it; we had never seen hide nor hair of an alligator. Do alligators have hair? Anyway, back to my story.
It was before daylight and we were walking along the lagoon when we heard a croaking sound, a loud croaking sound. I was intrigued by it. Andrew was oblivious, as usual. I was pulling on the leash and Andrew was a million miles away, probably wishing he was getting laid more … or at all.
As we neared the sound, Andrew came out of his coma and said to me, “Where do you think you’re going? That croaking sound you are rushing to is made by an alligator, and you would make a very fine breakfast for him.” Then he yanked on the leash and started to pull me away. I, in turn, tried my passive resistance thing, but to no avail. I was unceremoniously dragged from the park. I started to walk of my own volition only after we were outside the gates.
That was day one. On day two, we heard the croaking again, and as Andrew had given up any hope of getting laid, he heard it at the same time I did. So, we left the park tout de suite (that’s French for right away, all at once … fast).
On day three, I finally had my encounter with the alligator. It took some maneuvering, but Andrew is easy to outfox. He was intent on picking up mangoes for our neighbor Peggy and he laid the leash down for a moment. That was all I needed. Before he could stop me, I was tearing along the shore of the lagoon, hell-bent on getting to the place I had last heard the croaking.
I rounded a curve at the far end of the lagoon and came face to face with the biggest alligator I’d ever seen, the only alligator I’d ever seen. He was not as big as the one in my fictional account, but still, he was big enough for me. I started to bark furiously, knowing my barking would drive him back into the water. However, a funny thing happened. He stood his ground, and he even took a step or two toward me. That, I hadn’t counted on. My first impulse was to turn and run back to Andrew, but, that would not do. Then I’d lose the upper hand that I enjoy in our relationship.
While still energetically barking, I was wondering what my next move should be when the matter was taken out of my paws. From behind, Andrew snatched me up and started running for the street. I squirmed (but not too hard), letting Andrew know I did not appreciate being taken away from my quarry.
On the way home, Andrew told me that I would not get my daily turkey slice when we returned to our boat. It was to be my punishment for running away and scaring him half to death. But when we arrived home, he gave me a turkey slice anyway and scratched me behind the ear. What a softy he is.