Gather around boys and girls! It’s story time! Everybody be still, as we travel to the swamps with Gary the Gator and his friends!
Gary the Gator blew bubbles in the water with his long snout. “Poooo, I’s hot, hot, hot today. I won’t be goin’ on da land any time soon.”
Gary heard a voice yell his name.
“Gary!” It was Nancy the Nutria Rat, swimming up the swamp, with Carl the Crawfish on her back. “Hi, Gary! How are you today?”
“I’s hot out hea in dis hea swamp, and I got me an ahnvee. Wha’s dat bebette doin’ on ya back ova deh?”
“Gary! That’s not a bebette! That’s Carl the Crawfish, you silly goose!” Nancy giggled as the water bubbled behind her. “Sorry,” she said. “I fotted.”
Gary swam to Nancy. “I ain’t no goose, cooyon, and dat bebette looks like he’d make a good lunch.”
“You can’t eat me!” Carl clapped his scary claws together. “My shell warns off big bullies like you!”
“I ain’t scared of no shell, podnah,” Gary said. “I ate me a pirogue yessaday for suppa. Nancy, hand ova da red bug.”
“No, Gary! Carl is my friend!” Nancy showed Gary her big yellow, teeth. “Stay away, or I’ll burp on you! You can’t eat someone just because he’s smaller than you!”
Nancy swam as fast as she could away from Gary, with Carl yelling on her back. “Chat, ya big dope! Get outta hea! I’ll be no one’s dinner today!”
Gary swam as fast as he could behind Nancy, trying to catch his lunch. His nose was blowing bubbles in the water. Nancy jumped to the land and scurried through the trees. Gary followed her onto the land, but Gators don’t move as fast on land as they do in the water. Nancy knew this. She was a smart rat.
On the other side of the trees, Nancy sloshed through the marsh. “Ouch!” she cried.
“Sorry!” Carl exclaimed. “I’m trying to hang on! It’s not my fault my hands are pinchers!”
Gary followed his prey into the marsh, and something caught his attention. There was a piece of raw chicken bobbing in the water, tied to a tree.
“Oooh,” Gary said. “I’mma get me dat. A appetiza.”
When Gary tried to let go of the chicken, he couldn’t. There was a big hook stuck to his lip. “Uh oh.”
“Chooo! Thibeaux! We got us one, Thibeaux!”
“Mais, Boudreaux,” Thibeaux said, “Dat ones not big enough to keep. We gotta let dat go.”
“Mais, non, Thibeaux. Who we gon’ tell?”
“Let him go, Thibeaux. Dat one’s just a t-gata. A baby.”
Thibeaux reached down and took the hook out of Gary’s mouth, and Gary scurried under the water.
He looked around for Nancy and Carl, but they were long gone by the time he got free from the trap. They never visited Gary again.