I was talking with the Little Prince and the Queen a couple days ago, and I told them all about the Jesterly Challenge. I asked the Little Prince if I could write something for him, and he said, “Yes!” It was very emphatic. Then i asked what he wanted me to write about and he equally emphatically answered: “An alligator.” Done and done, kiddo.
Once upon a time, in a land of kingdoms run by jesters, which were really just fronts for the true toddlerocracies running behind the scenes, there was an alligator. This wasn’t any normal alligator, but a great, big, gigantic alligator. He was so large, that he couldn’t travel around as quickly as his friends. This, understandably of course, made Alligator sad.
In valiant efforts to cheer him up, all of Alligator’s friends came by to visit him and see if their own modes of transportation could work for him as well.
Monkey swung down on a vine, but the alligator’s front feet weren’t dexterous enough to cling to one while transferring to another, and when he tried Alligator went sprawling to the forest floor. Crash. Boom. Ouch.
Parrot, after much consideration and discussion with her family, affixed two wings on alligator’s back and instructed him in proper flying technique. Feeling confident and ready for a first flight, Alligator scrambled up a small tree to perch on a branch next to his friend. Then, with a spring in his knees and a mighty leap, the alligator spread his wings and felt the wind rush by the scales on his face. At first, he thought he was flying, but then he realized he’d simply weighed the branch down so much it was touching the ground and he had simply stepped down to it. Whoops. Oh well.
Mouse showed Alligator the secret pathways she had dug underneath the forest floor, where she could bypass all the obstacles that also prevented her friend from getting around quickly. Knowing it wouldn’t work, Alligator tried to force his way into one of her tunnels anyway, only to get stuck and need the help of Elephant tugging on his tail to get free.
Elephant, for his part, surveyed the situation and decided that rather than below, Alligator should walk above as he did, and so he built his friend some stilts to get his small legs further from the ground. Unfortunately, Alligator couldn’t get the hang of them and kept tripping and falling. Stumble, stumble, thud.
Then, just as Alligator had nearly given up all hope, he heard a magic whistle rushing through the forest and a thunderous chugging sound accompanying it. The Little Prince smiled from the cab of a steam engine as the mighty mechanical train burst through the forest to stop next to Alligator and his friends. The Little Prince waved them all over and they marveled at the cars being pulled behind. Each car had been designed specifically for them.
With a grandiose bellow, the Little Prince exclaimed, “All aboard!”
Alligator and his friends climbed onto the train and laughed and chatted and sang together while the Little Prince drove them in style and comfort around the forest.
Alligator had never been happier. Not only could he now get around the forest much easier, but he had all his friends with him for the ride.
All this story is missing is some illustrations. Any talented artists out there want to tackle each of the scenes and publish this as children’s book with me?