frog named Fernando sat on a lily pad and kept chanting five syllables.
Sometimes his voice went up, and sometimes it went down. Sometimes he smiled
when he said it and sometimes he frowned.
“Is that a word game,?” asked his Uncle Julius, who was always teaching
Ferdie new words, but none as big as that.
said Ferdie, “I was just wondering what it meant. I saw it on a sign
by the lily pond. It said ‘pick up after your picnic immediately,
or you will be a pro--cras--tin--a--tor, PS By the way, don’t pick lilies
either.’ It was signed ‘Lilly Pond.’ "
Uncle Julius chuckled. “Those are two good ideas but they don’t go
together,” he said. “Then we must figure out if Lilly is a frog or
a person. Maybe she’s a platypus who would like to be anonymous.
We all live in the Silly Zoo, and some things are downright willy nilly
silly. But silly things are important too,” he said.
“If we knew who Lilly was, then we could figure out what the word means,”
“That’s easy,” said his uncle, “it means putting things off. A pro--cras--tin--a--tor
will always delay and say "I’ll do it another day.”
"I never do that," said Ferdie. "I’m like that Now Owl who lives
in the tree and is always talking to that silly alligator.”
“I heard that,” said a deep voice. “That alligator is me, and
I’m quite intelligent. You see, I talk to the owl because owls are
very wise. It would surprise you to find out how many things they
know about the weather and feathers and astrology.”
“Are you as smart as the owl?” asked Ferdie.
“Of course,” said the alligator. “I’m a whiz at a quiz, it’s just
one fault that stands in my way or I would be the smartest alligator in
the world. In fact, I would know everything.”
Uncle Julius did his best hurrumft. “Oh bother,” he said, “you can’t
even read. I daresay you have as many faults as you have teeth, far in
excess of anyone’s need.”
“Now, now,” said the alligator. “That’s how nature designed me. Did
you ever see an alligator with false teeth?"
“No,” said Julius, “but I’ve seen several alligators who make false promises.”
“But that would never be true of me,” said the alligator. I am always
true to my word. But I do have one fault. That must be why
I’m not the center of the universe or this lily pond.”
“You mentioned that before, I believe,” said Uncle Julius, who was becoming
quite indignant about the boastful alligator and all his allegations.
“Halt!” said Ferdie. “I’m tired of all this arguing. What is
“You spelled it,” said the alligator. “I heard you chanting it when
I came up, I thought you were talking about me. I can’t say the word, it
makes me nervous.”
“Oh,” said Ferdie, “you mean pro--cras--tin--a--tor.”
“Exactly,” said the alligator. “I do it all the time, it’s my nature.
I would do anything to overcome it --- but I think I’ll do it tomorrow.”
He sighed, “I guess I’m just a pro--cras--tin--a--tor alligator.
“Better late than never,” said uncle Julius.
Of course! It was then little Ferdie knew that alligator was the one who
had left the sign at the lily pond, so the mystery was solved. Lily
Pond was alligator, and he should not have told others not to do what he
did himself. Uncle Julius laughed and said, "Lily Pond indeed!
It’s nice to know we can still get along with him, even though we know