S. E. Schlosser
Alex alligator arrived at Allison Arthur's apple farm in April, when the apple trees were covered with blossoms.
"Whatever am I to do with an alligator?" Allison asked.
Inside the box, Alex yawned. Alex stuck his legs through the holes at the bottom of the box and ambled into the house in search of dinner.
"Oh no you don't!" cried Allison. "You cannot live in the house. You are to stay in the stream behind the apple orchard."
Allison put Alex in the small stream. Then Allison put a strong fence around the stream so Alex did not try to eat Mrs. Chory's chickens.
Alex liked the stream and his pen. He especially liked the steaks Allison gave him every morning and evening.
One day in August a red apple fell off a tree and rolled under the fence and into Alex's pen. Alex sniffed it a bit and then took a bite.
It was the most delicious thing Alex had ever eaten. Alex slipped under the fence and ambled into the apple orchard. Alex found a line of baskets sitting under a tree. Alex ate all the apples in the baskets. Then he wandered under another tree and ate all the apples in the baskets he found there. He was very happy. And very full. He went back into his cage.
Allison came by later with his steak. Alex sniffed at it, but he was not very hungry.
"Do you know what someone did Alex?" asked Allison. Alex yawned. "Someone stole all my apples. They knocked over the baskets and stole the apples. If it happens again, I'm calling the police."
That night, Alex had a very pleasant dream about apples. After his steak the next morning, Alex slipped under the fence and out into the orchard. There were a bunch of people climbing up and down ladders with baskets. Alex watched for a few moments. Then he realized that when the people came down the ladders, their baskets were full of apples.
Alex wandered over to the closest ladder. A small girl descended with a basket full of apples. Alex grinned at her. The little girl screamed and dropped the basket. She ran away, yelling for her mother. Alex stuck his head in the basket and began eating apples. He heard voices coming towards him.
"Now April, you know what I've said about fibbing. There are no alligators in this orchard." said April's mother. Alex pulled his head out of the basket and grinned at April's mother.
"Ahhhh!" she screamed. April and her mother ran away as fast as they could.
Alex walked over to another tree. A man was climbing down the ladder. He stepped on Alex's back. Alex grunted and tried to walk away. The man looked down at Alex and yelped. The man dropped his basket and ran toward the house. Alex ate all the apples in his basket.
Just then, Allison came running into the orchard.
"Alex!" she yelled. Alex took one look at Allison and bolted back into his pen. Allison followed him.
"So you're the one who ate all my apples." she said. "I'd better fix your cage."
Once Alex's cage was fixed, he could no longer go into the apple orchard. Alex stared longingly at the trees full of apples.
At dinner time, Allison brought Alex a steak as usual.
"You are a bad boy, Ales," she said. "But I can't blame you for liking apples. I brought you a surprise."
Allison went outside the cage, and picked up a basket. It was full of apples! Alex ate all the apples before he ate his steak.
Allison laughed. "I'll bring you apples every night Alex," she said. That is exactly what Allison did.