(an adverbial tale)
by Rick Walton
I had worn the same pair of socks for three months. Whenever I took off my shoes, the smell made my head spin dizzily.
It was time to buy a new pair. I headed to town. I took the scenic route. Through the swamp. I was in no hurry. I walked lazily.
I wasn't far into the swamp when I saw it. In the mud. Hard and white. Gleaming silently.
My golf ball! So that's where I'd hit it. I picked it up and put it into my right pocket carefully.
I walked on. What was that? Something long and green? Could it be, I asked myself anxiously?
Yes! My rusty bugle. I slung it over my shoulder happily. (bugle has a shoulder strap)
And then, over there. A big mouth full of teeth. I approached cautiously.
My dad's pliers! So that's where I dropped them. Dad would be happy. I picked them up and slipped them into my left pocket easily.
I kept walking. I stepped over a stream. I stepped over another stream. And then I stepped cheerfully...
...over an alligator! "Grooo! Grooo!" He flipped his tail and knocked my legs out from under me. I fell into the water. The alligator smiled at me hungrily.
I decided I would rather not be eaten. I got up and ran. Ahead of me a hill rose steeply.
When I reached the top I stopped and turned around. "Grooo!" There was the alligator! He had followed me up the hill! He snapped at me. I jumped. He missed me. Barely.
I ran down the other side of the hill. Over logs. Around rocks. Through streams. The alligator followed me steadily.
At last I'd had enough. I stopped. I turned. "LEAVE ME ALONE!" I stomped my foot angrily.
But the alligator didn't stop. He kept coming. I pulled the bugle off my shoulder and blew it boldly.
The alligator was not afraid. I reached in my pocket. I pulled out the golf ball and threw it. It hit the alligator in the nose. The alligator growled and came at me even more swiftly.
I turned again and ran. He nipped at my heels with his razor sharp teeth. I pulled out the pliers. Perhaps I could remove his teeth before he could bite me. I reached the pliers behind me awkwardly.
The alligator bit the pliers out of my hand and swallowed them greedily.
I was sure he would swallow me next. And then I saw the tree. I raced to it and began to climb it clumsily.
The alligator was right behind me. He jumped at me, growling loudly.
He caught me! My feet were in his mouth! I am lost, I thought gloomily.
And then, my shoes came off. The alligator fell to the ground with my shoes in his mouth. He dropped them, growled, and prepared to lunge at me again. But then he sniffed the air painfully.
He fell on his back. His eyes rolled blankly. And he died. I climbed down. I picked a flower, and laid it on him gently.
Then I put on my shoes and continued on my way to town. I would hurry this time. I would buy some new socks, immediately.
And before they killed again, I would throw away my old socks. They were dangerous. And yet, they had saved my life. And for that, I would always remember them fondly.
(last wordless illustration show that alligator is not dead, but was just severely stunned.)