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The Fishy Alligator
Not For Sale
Author requests article critique
Margaret D. Woolington 635 Words
4095 Madre Drive
Oviedo, Florida 32765
The Fishy Alligator
Margaret D. Woolington
Tia stood in front of a mirror one morning.
“Grandfather, am I pretty?”
“Yes,” said grandfather. “You are very pretty.”
“But I would be prettier if I had long blonde hair like cousin, Lisa.”
“God gave you beautiful dark hair to match your lovely dark eyes.” said Grandfather.
Then Tia turned around and around watching herself in the mirror. She stood on her toes and stretched her hands up to the ceiling. “Maybe I would be prettier if I was taller like cousin, Silva”
“Someday, you will be taller,” said Grandfather. “But you must be patient. Be happy with who you are now.”
“Yes, but...” Tia protested.
“Let me tell you a story,” said Grandfather making a place for her next to him.
Tia loved his stories so she stopped looking in the mirror and sat down to hear one of his special tales.
“My grandfather told me this story a long time ago, he said. There once was a small pond where a duck lived and he was always putting his head under the water to watch a big fish that swam gracefully by. It looked so easy and wonderful that he began to wish he were a fish, but every time he tried to go down to where the fish was swimming, the duck kept bobbing back up to the surface.
“You are a lucky duck,” said the fish one day. “ You can swim on the water and fly where you please. But all I can do is swim beneath you. I wish I were an alligator then I would go where I please and I would eat you for dinner.”
One day a terrible storm came through where the duck and the fish lived. The wind whirled and swirled through the pond and blew all the water out. The strong wind also made the duck fly far away across the field but the fish lay in the mud gasping for breath. He flipped and flopped there until his breath was almost gone. When he tried to lift his head for one last glimpse of his lost home he saw something very strange indeed. His head felt like a log and he had scaly, pointy feet where his fins had been. He had gotten his wish. He was an alligator. Now, he thought I will go where I please and eat that duck for dinner like I said.
Just then the duck flew by. He flew all around the place that used to be his pond.
But all he found was an alligator lying in the mud. Suddenly he remembered what the fish said he would do if he were an alligator. Could it be that the fish had gotten his wish?
The duck decided the smart thing to do would be to keep flying or the alligator would have him for dinner. So the he flew on, grateful for wings that enabled him to get safely away. And when he found another pond, the duck settled down and was happy to float on top of the water as he had always done. He did not wish to be a fish anymore, but the alligator spent his days sleeping in the muddy pond wishing he had wings so he could fly like the duck.
“So you see, everyone and everything is created according to God’s plan. And we know,” said Grandfather with a wink. “That God’s doesn’t make mistakes.”
After Grandfather finished the story Tia went back to the mirror but this time when she looked at herself, she decided she was fine just like God had made her.
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24 Oct 2004
Margaret, I read your story and I really can't offer much critique. I also write for children and I think this story is quite terrific. It is a story children can relate to and one that is in great need and told well. Hope to see more from you.
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