Writer's Cramp—April 11
"Great. Just great," I felt the growl erupt like a volcano from my throat, "I've got a meeting at the college in less than an hour and the map for the bus stop is wrong and not a single soul on this planet will help me find my way! I'm lost in suburbia!"
I glanced around a neighborhood of well kept lawns and white picket fences. This piece of the world was so different from the junk yard I'd grown up in. I glanced past a neatly planted row of tulips, wondering if I should ring a bell and ask to use a phone and let the college know I'd be late. In the future I would have to get myself one of those newfangled cell phones. And a pocket to put it in.
With a sigh, I stomped down the driveway to the brightly colored front door. The doorbell was so high up, I had to stretch on my tippy-toes to reach it. After two rings the door was thrown open by a redheaded boy. I spoke quickly before he could yell and slam the door in my face.
"Hey there, buddy. My name is Al Gator and I seem to have gotten myself in a bit of a bind. You see, I'm supposed to meet the board of directors at Finn University at two 'o clock but I can't find the bus station."
The kid ran a hand through his hair. His jaw, which had dropped open and caught three flies while I was speaking, slowly closed and his lips spread into a smile across his freckled face.
"Used ta be on Garfield and Third Street but now it's a couple'a blocks over, on Fifth and Friday."
I thumped a foot on the wooden porch, crunching the numbers in my head. I'd never be able to walk fast enough to catch the bus in time.
"Ah, well then," I glanced at my stubby front legs, "I guess I'll have to cancel my appointment."
"Why?" the boy asked.
"I'll never make it in time. I'm too slow on land," I glanced hopefully up into the boys blue eyes. "Unless you happen to have a creek or river nearby?"
The boy shook his head and I grunted in disappointment. "Yeah, I thought not. I would have been able to smell the water. One can always hope, though, eh? Anywho, thanks for the help, boy." Turning around on the porch was a tight squeeze and my tail didn't want to cooperate. With a mind of its own, it lashed out, knocking the boy to his rear. I scurried down the porch steps before I tangled myself in a knot.
"I am so sorry!" I gushed, "Sometimes I forget how big my tail is and —"
The boy was giggling. "It's okay, Al," he stood and gestured me closer. "If you wait a moment, I'll ask my mom if she can drive you to the college."
Now my jaw was dropping open. "Really? You'd do that for me?"
"Sure," the boy shrugged, "Mom always says we should do for others what we'd want done for ourselves."
"The Golden Rule," I whispered. I remembered reading about it in one particularly large book someone had dumped at the junk yard.
"Yup. Hold on a sec." The boy bounced into the house, leaving the front door open a crack. "Mooo-om" his voice seemed to echo across the neighborhood. When the door opened again, a tall woman stepped out with the boy. I flashed my best smile and the woman jingled a set of car keys and smiled back.
There are still people in the world that have good manners. I thought as I slid into the back of her Volkswagen. I couldn't wait to add this to my thesis paper at the college.