The alligator swam as quickly as he could. The rainbow was fading. “Wait,” he said. Instead of waiting, the rainbow started to fade a little faster. Fortunately, alligators are faster in water than on land, and this rainbow ended over water.
With a final burst of speed, he dove under the water and sat on the pot of gold. A few seconds later, a leprechaun popped into view. It flailed its arms and legs for a moment, and then surrounded itself and the alligator and the gold in a bubble of air.
“Give me back my gold, you big lizard,” the leprechaun said. “What would you do with gold anyway?”
“Maybe I’m turning into a dragon and need to build a hoard,” the alligator said.
The leprechaun’s mouth dropped open. “You can do that?” he asked in a squeaky voice.
The alligator snorted. “No, of course not. I just want a wish. Grant me a wish and you can have your gold back.”
The leprechaun shut his mouth and scowled. “I won’t be granting a wish to something with teeth like that. Keep the gold. It will do you no good.” The leprechaun folded its arms and disappeared with a crack. The bubble of air disappeared with him.
The alligator waited another half hour underwater and then gave in. Even he would need to go up to breathe eventually. Once he left, the leprechaun would come for the gold. He could take it with him, but what was the point? He didn’t want the gold. He wanted the wish. And the leprechaun made it clear how he felt about that.
This was not the first time or the second or third time the alligator had been denied a chance for a wish. He’d wished on the first star. He’d found a stray campfire to blow out on his birthday. He caught a leaf as it fell. He held his breath as he ran through a tunnel.
Every time, a fairy popped in front of him and told him that their wishes were not for alligators and to stop wasting their time. No one asked him what his wish was or told him how alligators could get wishes. It just wasn’t fair.
However, alligators are stubborn, and this one wasn’t any different. He had a wish, and he was going to find a way to get it. It wasn’t one he could work towards on his own, so he needed to find help. Well, he’d just keep looking.
He caught a fish and let it go. The fish laughed at him and swam away. He rubbed a camping lantern with his paws. The genie popped out, grabbed the lantern and vanished. He blew the seeds off a white puffy dandelion. A fairy appeared, gathered all the scattered seeds and blew a raspberry at him. “If you try this one more time, I’ll send the fairy princess to stop you. She’ll turn you into a beetle,” the fairy said.
The alligator did not give up. There had to be a way for alligators to get wishes. And then one morning, he heard a faint cry for help. He rushed towards the voice. He found a frog cornered by a snake. The alligator knocked the snake out of the way.
The snake looked up, and his expression went from angry and annoyed to terrified. The alligator grinned to show all his teeth, and the snake slithered away. “I’m doomed,” the frog said. “I’ve gone from the frying pan into the fire.”
“Nonsense,” the alligator said. “Did you know that you are speaking in English and not Frog?”
“I am?” the frog said. “That would have made things a little easier, I suppose. If I wasn’t about to be eaten.”
“You have a feel of magic around you, and you don’t talk Frog. I’m not going to eat you,” the alligator said. “So, tell me your story.”
“I’m an inventor. I invented a self-flying broom. It made the witches’ guild angry, and they turned me into a frog. I can only become human again if a princess kisses me. In this day and age, I think that’s a near impossibility.” The frog sighed.
“Does it have to be a human princess?” the alligator asked.
“They didn’t say,” the frog said.
“Then it doesn’t. Follow me,” the alligator said. He went to the meadow and picked a white, fluffy dandelion and blew. A majestic, angry looking fairy appeared.
She glared at the alligator. “You were warned,” she said. She lifted her arm.
“Wait,” the alligator said. “This human needs your help.”
The fairy princess turned and looked at the frog. Her eyes narrowed. “He looks like a frog, but there is magic surrounding him. Tell me, frog, how did this happen?”
“I was cursed by witches. I can turn back if a princess kisses me.” His voice shook.
“Oh, very well. I never did like witches, so I wouldn’t mind spoiling their plans,” the fairy princess said. She blew a kiss at the frog, and in a swirl of light he became human again. “There,” she said. “Now their spells won’t work on you.”
Then the fairy princess turned and glared at the alligator again. “As for you, knock it off.” She disappeared in a clap of thunder.
“What was that about?” the inventor asked.
“The fairies refuse to give wishes to alligators,” the alligator said. “It isn’t fair.”
“What is your wish?” the inventor asked.
“I want to fly,” the alligator said.
“So that it’s easier to catch and eat things?” the inventor asked.
“No. So I can fly. I mostly eat fish, and flying wouldn’t make it any easier to catch them,” the alligator said.
“Well then,” the inventor said. “I think I can help you.”
A few months later, the alligator was darting around in a rocket-propelled suit. It was as amazing as he’d always dreamed it would be.