One of my little girls was having a difficult day. She stayed in my room for a chat when her classmates went to lunch. I read the poem, "Alligators Are Unfriendly" (Prelutsky,
New Kid on the Block,
page 14) to her. Together we decided to write a funny story about an alligator. From this version I wrote a play that the children will dramatize for a school assembly.
"An Alligator in My Kitchen"
Narrator: Beckie and her mom came home from school one day and to their dismay they found an alligator sitting on a chair in their kitchen. The alligator was eating Mom's favorite crackers.
(Beckie and Mom walk across the stage on their way home from school.)
Mom: Beckie, I want you to start your homework.
Becky: Oh Mom, do I have to do my homework?
Mom: Yes you do! And remember do not eat my favorite crackers.
Becky: I won't… Look Mom, there's an alligator in the kitchen!
Mom: There you go again Becky. I told you to stop dreaming up make believe stories.
Becky: I'm not joking Mom. Look he's eating your favorite crackers. The ones that you told me not to touch.
Mom: Oh dear! There really is an alligator sitting on our kitchen chair. He really is eating my favorite crackers.
Becky: What are you going to do?
Mom: Alligator go and stand in the corner. I have to have time to think about what we are going to do with you. (Mom exits off the stage.)
Narrator: Mr. Alligator stands in the corner. But he is feeling very sad. Becky sees how disappointed Mr. Alligator is and tries to comfort him.
Becky: Please do not cry Mr. Alligator. I will get some help for you. Please sit on your chair again until I call my friends. (Becky calls her friend Johnny and Susie to come over and help her with Mr. Alligator.)
Johnny: You really were not joking, Becky. You really have an alligator in your kitchen.
Susie: Becky, why do you continue to make up stories that are not… Becky, you have an alligator in your kitchen.
Becky: I told you so!
Susie: I'm going to call the kids on the block.
Narrator: Susie calls Freddie, Mary, Lillie, Jill, Judy, and Andy. She tells them that Becky has an alligator in her house. The kids do not believe Susie but they all rush to Becky's house.
(The Kids on the Block are all talking at the same time. They cannot believe Susie's story.)
Kids on the Block enter: Becky, you have an alligator in your kitchen.
Freddie: You can't keep him.
Mary: Alligators can be mean.
Lillie: Alligators are boring.
Jill: Alligators can't catch a ball,
Andy: Alligators can't bring you a greeting.
Judy: Alligators may eat you in the hall.
Freddie: You can't have him for a pet.
Becky: Now just one moment. Let me have a word or two. I am going to have a talk with my friend, Mr. Alligator.
Kids on the Block repeat together: Your friend?
Becky: I bet I can have him for a pet. Mr. Alligator can you cook some hamburgers and serve them on bread? Can you make my bed? Can you do my homework each night? Can you make the garbage go out of sight?
(Mr. Alligator shakes his head "yes" to each question. The Kids on the Block stare with their mouths wide open.)
Becky: See I will have him for a pet. (Becky runs off stage and calls to her mother.) Mom, Mom I have an alligator for a pet.
Mom: So you have an imaginary friend, Becky. What else is new? Or is he my imaginary friend too? I am confused.
(Everyone puts hands up in disbelief. Beckie stands in the middle of the group grinning from ear to ear with her arm around the alligator.)
Kids on the Block repeat together: Is he our imaginary friend too?
Narrator: You will have to decide - Is he your imaginary friend too?