"You're not going to die, are you, Edgar?" said Eddie, and he put out his hand to touch the alligator. The jaws snapped on his hand and Eddie stared at a row of oozing red dots that quickly ran together. "Ma!" he screamed.
When Eddie's hand was bandaged his mother marched into the bathroom. Without a word she picked up the alligator by the tail and flushed it down the toilet.
Edgar went down two flights in a welter of water and tumbled into the gentle current of the sewer. Once again he floated in the dark.
In another shop, from another tank, another uncle bought a baby alligator for his niece Allison. When Allison received her present she exclaimed, "An alligator!"
Her mother said exactly the same thing, "An alligator!" -- but her exclamation had an exactly opposite meaning. The alligator was named Alice, and after Allison left for school her mother flushed Alice down the drain. "That's that," she said.
Until people learned that alligators didn't
make good pets and stopped buying them,
alligators were flushed down toilets all over
the city. Each alligator floated alone in the
darkness of the sewer and wondered, "Is this
real or the other? How can I tell? There is no
one else to help me to know."