The day started like any other day for Hermit the Crab and Alex the Alligator. Alex came by early morning to take Hermit for a ride on the River. Except this time Alex suggested to his friend that there was a place down river that had the kind of food on the shore that Hermit liked a lot.
After Hermit the Crab had traveled down the river he was very hungry. So as he climbed down from his perch between Alex's eyes, he almost forgot to thank Alex as he found the first delicious morsel of food. Perfectly rotted to exactly the right degree he adored. Alex moved along a bit hunting his own breakfast, leaving his buddy to ecstasies of delicious eating. He would come back to get him when he finished. Hermit stuffed himself long before Alex returned. He pulled back into his borrowed shell and decided to have a nap.. As he fell asleep he thought that maybe just maybe if Alex were long enough he would have a little more room for just one more little bit….hmmmm. How long had he slept, Hermit did not know, but as he slowly woke up he knew he was very happy. He started to doze again when a strange sound made his eyes open nervously on their stalks and look around. The rest of him pulled back into his shell just a little deeper. Maybe it's the wind he thought, moving the leaves about, now the sound grew more demanding. He knew the risk but his curiosity as we all know Hermits curiosity started to get the best of him. Hermit slowly pulled part way out, his eyes waving about looking for a cause for the commotion. Slowly they focused on a fly, not a foot away. The fly was carrying on so bad with sobs and muttering so unhappy, it made Hermit quite sad.
The worst part of all, the very worst was the tears streaming from his eyes. My Goodness thought Hermit, he must have hundreds of eyes and they are all leaking at once. The mutterings grew louder, and Hermit quite tired of it, said" ahhhh Hello".…. No answer, well then he shouted, "What are you going on about?" " Can I help you?" "I am Hermit the Crab who are you? " The very wet eyes looked up and for the moment started to dry up a little. " I am Willie, Willie fly and everyone hates me". At that a new flood began. "Who hates you?"Hermit asked. "They all do," sobbed Willie, "all those other flies at the the flight training school in the beginning class. "They make fun of me because I cannot fly like them". Look said Willie and he turned to show Hermit that both his wings were stunted, too small for even his small body. "I cannot get off the ground and, with loud wails Willie disolved into yet more tears.. How was it possible to have so many tears in one very small body? Hermit, looked quite bewildered, but he knew he had to stop this before Willie flooded the area. "Stop stop," shouted Hermit… I may be able to help you. Like magic there was a sudden silence.
Hermit blinked then looked into hundreds of very intense eyes as Willie asked, "what can you do?" "You are a crab, are you a magic crab?" " No I am not magic. I just have friends and I know they would want to help you if they can." "My friend Alex the Alligator, knows a badger… " Alligator" broke in Willie; "you know an alligator and a badger?" "We know a Badger named Billy " continued Hermit, and he is very good at helping to cure animals, he may be able to help you." Help me said Willie, no one can help me. What have you got to lose asked the friendly little crab? Well, said the fly nothing I guess, I am certainly not going to fly like this. So the two new friends sat back to wait for the alligator, so that they could ask him if he would bring them to see a certain badger..
Needless to say Alex could not turn them down, so a few days later, had you been there, you would have seen the odd sight of a big alligator swimming swish swish up the river, with a hermit crab perched between his eyes with a fly sitting on top of a very pretty shell the crab was wearing. The crab was singing a little song, that went something like this "will he fly?" "will he fly" if he does, he can spit in their eyes"
They went around a small bend and then past a small falls until they came to a small stretch of land that was raised only a little bit above the water.. it stretched up to the foot of a very large and dark foreboding mountain. Alex climbed slowly out of the water and began a long walk towards the mountain. Hermit and Willie hung on for dear life. It seemed to take forever because Alligators are much faster in the water, but finally they came to a small hill, with a hole at the base.
Alex settled down and then called out in his big alligator voice, "Billy, Billy Badger, are you home?" He was about to call again when there came a chittering little voice from deep in that hole "is that you Alex?" Before the alligator could answer with a scrabble the badger was out of the hole and standing in front of them… He bounded over and hugged the big Alligator nose, not even noticing that he had passengers. The passengers were startled and not a little afraid. They cowered down behind the alligators eye bumps… Billy's sharp eyes caught the movement and in his quick way he said" well what have we here?" He walked around to the other side and looked carefully at the two creatures…. Come down, come on down, and meet me. I won't hurt you, I promise. As they climbed down, he turned to Alex and asked well, aren't you going to introduce us? Alex in his most formal way, said, this is Hermit the crab I was telling you about. Remember? You sent him some medicine and as you can see it worked very well. Thank you very much said Hermit, in his most thankful manner, I am feeling very well now. That's why when I heard about Willies problem, ohhh this is Willie Fly by the way, I knew you were just the person to talk to about it. Hello Hermit, and a special hello to you Willie. Now what is the matter, hmm your wings… they are so small, he drew closer and his breath almost knocked the little fly over, he was breathing so fast. This is an interesting problem… He turned towards Alex and Hermit and said, well I am not sure if this will work but wait here and he dived into his hole.
It seemed like forever. Then there was a call from the cave… Send the fly down here. Willie looked uncertainly at his friends then pulling himself up to his full quarter inch height he strode bravely down the long dark hole…. Alex settled into a sunny spot and quickly began to snore. Hermit looked around for bits of food. It was hard to ignore the sounds that came from the hole. The singsong chatter of the badger then the humm of the fly, mixed with other strange clangs and bangs and whooshes. A small bell tinkled three times, then a faint haze of pink drifted out of the hole. It was quite mysterious.
Just as Hermit began to doze the two of them walked out of the hole, chatting like old friends. Alex was instantly awake and interested. But the two said little about what went on. The crab and the fly climbed on the alligator amidst a storm of thank you and goodbyes. Just as they set out Billy called. "Don't worry Willie, it may take awhile for it to work, but it will work.
The following week when Willie went back to school, he had still not flown. Nervously he watched as the others jumped off the high platform and flew their awkward practice flights. Willies turn finally came. He could hear the others laughing as he climbed the platform They figured he was going to crash again. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and jumped, at first he seemed to be plummeting down again, as he beat his wings as hard as he could. Suddenly he stopped going down and began to go up and up and up. He looked down at the faces way below and a big fly smile lit hisface as he swooped down and buzzed the astonished tormenters for good measure. As he turned to land he could see his friends on the hill. Alex was swaying as Hermit was singing, and doing an eight legged happy dance, Will he fly?, Will he fly? Yes he can, yes he can ,then he can spit in their eyes and he did.