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The Alligator versus the Clown

by

Dan Schwartz


The circus was in town last night. Some say the greatest show on earth, but I have yet to make up my mind. Things did not run smoothly for them, as a lion swiped at a boy. The ringmaster packed up his tents and left in a hurry after that, but it was hardly the lions fault, the kid was covered head to toe in cotton candy. He looked and smelled delicious, no one is that strong. The circus left so quickly they forgot a few things, such as two stools for the elephants, a safety net, and a clown; I think his name was Squiggles.

The next day I was back at work, marking underground utility lines on the highway for the Department of Transportation. It was a quiet day, barely any cars, then I see a lone hitch hiker making his way up the road, it was Squiggles. He did not bear the charm of his performance, he looked tired and worn, and you could tell he was not happy, even if his painted on smile suggested otherwise. He was dragging his big floppy feet and he strayed too far from the edge of the road. Everyone from around here knows you do not stray too far from the road because that is where the alligators lurk.

He was too far away for me to yell out a warning to, plus his curly green looks as if it would have muffled my call. I took a few steps closer to grab his attention, but it was too late, a gator emerged. It did not take the clown long to notice the extreme reptile, well over eight feet from tip to tail. The alligator glared at the clown as it angered by his intrusion. The clown just froze, his white gloves shaking at his sides. The clown took slow steps backwards, but with each step his shoes honked, agitating the alligator. For every one step the clown took back, the gator took two steps forward.

I was too far away to intervene, but I did make a phone call to the police requesting an ambulance; I knew it was going to be needed. I have seen my fair share of animal attacks in these parts, most victims are outsiders, and they all do the same things. First, try to back off slowly, as if the animal just thought they saw you, but you were really a mirage. Second, size up the animals speed, and ask, can I out run it? The clown must have decided that with the combination of his baggy pants and oversized shoes, he would not have the speed. The clown went onto number three, launch a preemptive attack.

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