The Butterfly and the Alligator
Joanne, Age 11, Armstrong, BC

Once upon a time there was a lonely and clumsy alligator and a graceful, beautiful, and very popular butterfly. Butterfly had seen the alligator the day before.  He was so clumsy that when he walked he fell on his back! Butterfly had never seen an alligator before so he yelled, “Are all alligators this clumsy?”

“Of course not,” said the alligator, a bit embarrassed that he fell on his back.  “I bet they are,”said Butterfly. The alligator was getting so mad he said something he didn’t really mean. He challenged butterfly to a swimming race.

Butterfly had never been swimming before, but he figured he could do it just as well as an alligator could. Still he was a bit nervous. What if the alligator beat him? He started to call out insults.

“You are so big and clumsy, you only have six teeth, and you always have that stupid grin on your face!” the butterfly yelled.

The alligator plodded along, pretending not to hear.  “Why did I have to challenge Butterfly to a swimming race?” thought alligator. “I haven't swam since the Alligator Olympics in Calgary. Maybe I should practice.”

So alligator went down to the river to practice. He practiced the rest of the night. When he went to bed he was very tired.

But Butterfly could not sleep. He was too nervous, knowing that if he got his wings wet, he wasn’t going to be able to fly.

Early the next morning, Butterfly went to Alligator and he agreed to let Butterfly fly just a little bit above the water so she wouldn’t get her wings wet.

The competition was scheduled to happen on Saturday.  Saturday morning, butterfly was excited. She would show that clumsy fool of an alligator who was the best. Butterfly gathered all her friends to cheer her on.

“What if you lose?” asked Bubbles the bee.

“I won’t lose!” cried out Butterfly, amazed that Bubbles could think such a thing.

When alligator woke up that morning, he felt pumped.  Yesterday, when he practiced on the river, he found out he wasn’t that bad at swimming. But Alligator had one worry.  What if there were logs or big rocks in the way? He wouldn’t be able to go around them.  He hadn’t swam around obstacles like these in years.  He decided he would just have to make the best of it.

Alligator and Butterfly got to the river about the same time.

“Prepare to die, alligator!” Butterfly yelled.

By a strange coincidence, more than twenty logs floated in the river making it very hard to swim.

Alligator groaned to himself, “Oh no! Just as I feared!”

Percy the cat started the race.  “ON YOUR MARKS! GET SET! GO!” Percy yelled. The alligator jumped in the water and started to swim.  Butterfly flew just a bit above the water. The butterfly was off to a good start darting around logs. The alligator plodded along steadily, his nose bumping into logs forcing him to take the long way around.

All of a sudden, there was a clap of thunder and a dark gray cloud moved across the sky. Without warning, it began to rain.

“Oh poor beautiful me!” cried butterfly. “My poor beautiful wings are getting drenched!” Butterfly hurried off to hide inside a hollow log. Alligator didn’t mind that it was raining. In fact, he really liked the rain. Sometimes he would even sit outside and read when it was raining. So, Alligator plodded past Butterfly’s hiding spot and glided across the finish line.

Alligator was never teased by Butterfly again. Of course, there was the time an elephant teased him, but that is another story.

Bricks and stones may break your bones but rain will never hurt you, especially if you are an alligator.


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