|This story was inspired by a child I overheard
talking to his mother about Santa Claus. At the
time, I was thinking about all the people being
denied the holidays due to the recession.
by Xander Riley
After many months, the little orange was finally ripe for the picking. He hung from the tree, way near the top, and waited. He knew that
he was the best of the bunch. The humans wouldn't be able to resist him. But they did.
He heard them talking as they filled their baskets. He was up too high to reach without a taller ladder, so they left him for 'later'. Yeah,
right! They would never remember to come back for him.
Resigned to his fate, the little orange (a BIG orange now!) continued his watch over the small farm.
It was a peaceful place. A few chickens strutted around the large yard. Bessie and her new calf were munching grass in the far corner.
Why were cows always named Bessie? The two human children were playing catch with a Frisbee while Digger chased the disc, trying to
snatch it out of the air. All in all, it was a Norman Rockwell fantasy.
The orange was content. Well, as content as he could be. All oranges want to be eaten and enjoyed. It's the way of the world. It was
their goal in life.
He had just decided to fall from the tree, hoping that one of the children would run over to eat him. Or maybe the dog would notice first.
Anyway, the orange checked the ground beneath him to find a soft spot to land. BUT THE GROUND MOVED! It was moving towards him,
off to his left from the direction of the small lake.
Was it his imagination? NO! It moved again. The little orange watched as the rocky ground moved slowly toward him. He realized that
he was finally seeing what the humans referred to as a 'gator'. It was the monster that snuck onto the neighboring farms and devoured
And now it was moving toward the children. And the family's pet dog.
Gathering up all his courage, the little orange rocked back and forth in the tree until he pulled loose. By this time, the gator was right
beneath him. He landed directly on its snout.
Startled, the gator lashed out at its unseen attacker. The sudden movement alerted the dog and the kids to his presence. They ran
quickly to the house, screaming all the way. Correction: The KIDS were screaming, the dog was barking.
The gator saw the orange on the ground beside his head. There was a gash that made it look like the little fruit was grinning at him.
"What in the blazes did you do that for? You just ruined my supper!"
To which, the orange replied, "I'm just fulfilling my purpose in life."
He rolled over to present his unblemished back side to the gator and said, "Bite me!"
© Copyright 2010 Xander Riley