I thought I would drop you a quick note about the last adventure Fred had on our recent trip down South to Florida. Now, normally, I would like to invite Fred to say a few words as well, but he was in no mood to talk to me or anybody else about his recent adventure
The reason he was doing this was because on our walk, we saw a huge pond, a beautiful pond surrounded by lovely plants and flowering lily pad plants around the edge.
And Fred, being a frog, just loved the idea of a pond because he really likes to swim (you know he’s a championship swimmer and really good at it). He was so excited, he jumped off my shoulder where he often sits on our walks. After all, he’s a frog and can’t keep up with me when I’m walking so he pretends he gets his exercise on “our” walks.
Fred was so excited, he yelled at me, “Look! There’s a log. I’m going to walk right out there and check how deep the pond is. I need a deep pond for my diving and underwater exploring.” He rambled on for a moment while he looked at the log and pond. And then he jumped off my shoulder down into the grass at the edge of the pond
I took a look at the log and quietly said, “Fred, don’t do this.” My voice was soft but I tried to make it clear I didn’t think his swimming was a good idea. “Take a really good look around here before you walk out…”
“I can see better from that log,” he said. And, he jumped onto the log.
But it wasn’t a log. I could see that but he couldn’t.
He jumped over what looked like a bump on the log to reach the water.
“Fred,” I said. “Turn around and be careful,” I said in a voice that was soft but demanding. You know how your parents talk when they don’t want you to do something but they said it softly when they’re mad, “Don’t do that!” Well, that was my voice.
“Don’t go swimming,” I said in my soft, angry voice. “Just get back here.”
“Fred, get back here right now!” I said in my softest, angriest voice.
Fred just looked at me, “What?” he said. And he stood up on his back legs, put his hands on his hips, tilted his head and said, “What?”
“Fred,” I said, “Get back here.” Fred turned around and looked at me.
“No,” said Fred. “This is a great log, I’m going to go swimming. And stomped his foot.”
But at the same time as he stomped his foot, the bumps on the log changed. The bumps were really eyes and they opened to stare at whoever was stomping right in front of them.
Then Fred’s eyes got really, really big too. And he started tip-toeing towards me, but it was too late.
The eyes belonged to an alligator. And Fred had never met an alligator before and didn’t know what it was. All he knew was these two big yellow eyes were staring right at him.
The alligator flipped its nose.
And Fred went sailing into the air. Straight up above the alligator. Fred was waving his arms and kicking his feet but there was nothing to grab on to or nothing to kick against. He was high above the alligator floating in the air and then he began to fall.
The alligator opened its mouth.
Fred was falling right towards the alligator, his eyes bulged out and he opened his mouth to scream.
I thought this was the end. My best friend was about to be eaten by an alligator and I didn’t know what I could do. I couldn’t fight an alligator, they’re bigger than I am and all I could think of was Fred was about to be alligator food.
Fred was falling and I think that alligator was thinking, “Breakfast!”
The alligator’s mouth was fully open, it was huge and the teeth were big and white and each one was about the size of Fred.
It looked like Fred was going to be the Alligator’s breakfast for sure and there was nothing I could do.
Just as Fred was about to land in the alligator’s mouth and be cut in half for breakfast, he shoved out his big strong feet. One foot landed on the top of the alligator’s mouth. The other foot landed on the bottom of the alligators mouth.
Now, the alligator tried to close its mouth but Fred has such strong legs, he fought that alligator and stopped him from closing and making him breakfast. Fred’s super strong legs fought that alligator’s bite.
The alligator was really much bigger than Fred and slowly but surely its mouth began to close. Fred was losing the fight and it looked like he was about to become alligator breakfast. Slowly but surely the alligator pushed Fred’s legs together. Because, after all an alligator is a lot bigger than a frog and even the strongest legs couldn’t fight off an alligator’s mouth.
I watched Fred and I could see how hard he was working. His mouth was all scrunched up, his eyes were half-closed and his legs were shaking as he fought that alligator.
And the alligator’s mouth began closing really fast and…
Fred shot up as he took a big Fred jump.
Fred didn’t jump straight up. He jumped towards the shore and landed right behind the alligator’s eyes. He jumped again and landed on its back.
The alligator spun around.
Fred jumped again and landed on its tail. And then he jumped off the alligator’s tail onto the ground. But having reached the land, he didn’t stop jumping but kept right on as he went by me, kept on jumping as he reached the path and didn’t stop jumping as he headed for home. He left me standing on the bank of the pond.
I looked down at the alligator.
And the alligator looked up at me.
Before that alligator could even think about making me his breakfast, I turned and ran after Fred.
And that’s how Fred met an alligator. He never went walking with me again on that trip.
But that didn’t stop him from getting into trouble. You should have seen what happened when he tried to climb a coconut tree.
But that’s a story for another day.