When I started writing this story it was just for fun and just for me. Then a few kids read parts and wanted to know how it ended. That lead to my wondering how it ended, too. So I had to find out. This was my most "by the seat of my pants" book I've ever written, so it has taken me some time.
While I was trying to figure out that ending, I did some research into alligators and found lots of interesting facts. I thought I'd share some of them.
Did you know
- alligators crept onto the planet during the Cenozoic era, a couple of years ago? When the dinosaurs died off, alligators didn't. I'd say they have survival down.
- their eyes glow red under light? That's how they're counted--at night. Talk about scary.
- they were near extinction, but now they thrive in the SOUTHEASTERN U.S. swamps and wetlands?
- they're ambush predators, so they do lots of stealthy stuff, like, pretend to be water hyacinths?
- they'll eat anything, but they're really keen on marshmallows? I feel a joke coming on. Why do they love marshmallows? Because they live in the marsh. (Terrible, right? Sorry.)
Here's another author who seems amused by alligators. Mercer Mayer wrote a bedtime story for the little old set. His book, There's an Alligator Under My Bed, seems to have brought out the ham in this writer.
When I was a kid I loved stories about animals: Bambi, My Friend Flicka, The Black Stallion, all the James Herriot books. I never did care much about alligator stories (Captain Hook's enemy being the exception-or was that guy a crocodile?), and here I am the author of a book with these reptiles as major characters. What were your favorite animal stories growing up? Do you know of other books with alligators as featured characters?