DRAINING THE SWAMP
Donald the Alligator was the biggest and fattest alligator in the whole swamp and
owned the biggest sandbank. He had inherited it from his late father who had left the
swamp to make ladies handbags in some big city.
Donald was big and fat because there were lots of fish in the swamp and when he
felt hungry, he simply waddled down the steep slope of his sandbank, slithered
through the mud and opened his massive mouth when he reached the water. Fish then
swam in for shelter because they thought his mouth would be a safe hiding place from
the flamingos. All Donald had to do then was close his jaws and swallow. When his
belly was full of fish, he would slither back through the mud, waddle up the steep
slope of the sandbank to his favourite resting place at the top, which he called his
Life could not have been better for Donald. He even had a harem of young lady
alligators who lay beside him in return for being allowed to beach on his sandbank.
Donald should have been happy but was not. He was angry, very, very angry. Why?
Because the smell from the swamp got up his snout and made him feel sick. The
swamp stank. It was, he said, like having built a palace in the middle of a cesspit.
One very hot day, when the swamp was stinking more than usual, Donald had a
brainwave - more a ripple than a wave as alligators have very small brains. He sent a
message to all the other alligators to come immediately to his sandbank for a rally.
'We must drain the swamp,' he announced, when all the other alligators had
arrived. 'We must get rid of the smell and make our swamp great again!'
All the other alligators cheered and chanted, 'Make the Swamp Great Again.'
'All we need to do,' he continued, 'is to dig out all the black mud at the far end of
the swamp which is damming it up.'
So, led by Donald, all the alligators waddled and slithered to the far end of the
swamp and began to lash at the black mud with their powerful tails. It was the biggest
and greatest mud bath the world had ever seen. Soon, they had formed a canal through
the black mud and the water from the swamp came rushing out, bringing all the fish
Donald, thoroughly satisfied with his days work, returned to his tower and watched
with a smile as the water in the swamp slowly disappeared. At long last, he felt happy.
'This was the greatest idea that any alligator has ever had,' he said to Melanigator, his
favourite lady alligator. Then he fell into a deep and contented sleep.
The following morning, he was awakened by the cacophony of noise from a flock
of tweeting flamingos.
'I drained the swamp,' he roared at them in contempt, as if trying to drown out their
Then he felt the pangs of hunger. He had moved a lot of black mud the day before.
It's time for breakfast, he thought.
He raised himself on his short legs, waddled down the steep slope of his sandbank
and tried to slither through the mud but the mud had dried and was going hard. So he
had to waddle over its caked surface, which was very hard work as his stumpy little
legs kept breaking through the crust under his great weight. It was like trying to wade
through thigh high snow, not that he had ever seen snow.
When he reached where the water had been, it was no longer there and without the
water there was no fish. Donald was incandescent with rage. 'This is a fraud!' he
roared at all the other alligators who were flapping about in the semi-solid mud. 'The
flamingos have stolen our fish!'
The other alligators all agreed. This had been daylight robbery. 'Put back the fish!'
they began to chant and vowed to deny the flamingos access to the swamp.
As the days passed and the fish did not return, all the other alligators began to
waddle off to find some other swamp where there would mud and water and fish.
Even Melanigator moved on but Donald remained resolute. He refused to leave his
sandbank and became more and more angry. This was not his fault. 'The flamingos
have stolen my fish,' he kept repeating over and over again as the pangs of hunger cut
deeper and deeper.
After two weeks all alone on his tower with the swamp now dry as a bone and hard
as a rock, he heard a loud rumbling sound and felt vibrations in the sand. He opened
his eyes and in the distance saw a cloud of dust rising and beneath it, a great mass of
large, grey-skinned animals approaching the swamp in some sort of celebration. It
was the hippopotami. They were coming to take over his swamp.
With his remaining strength, Donald flicked his tail and scratched a message in
capital letters on the steep slope of his sandbank. It read: I DRAINED THE SWAMP.
THE GREATEST DRAINING OF ANY SWAMP IN THE HISTORY OF
With that, Donald closed his eyes for the last time but he could still hear for a little
bit longer. He heard a strange sound. It was the noise of birds but not the tweeting of
thieving flamingos. This was the screeching of vultures. That and the heavy plodding
footsteps of the hippopotami were the last sounds Donald heard.