Ever heard of the old Seminole legend Uncle Monday? The strange-named guy was supposedly a medicine man from Africa who was brought to South Carolina as a slave, where he escaped to Florida to live with the Seminoles. He vowed never to let the whites take his life or his freedom again, so he had the Seminoles do some Indian or Voodoo stuff to turn him into an alligator so he could hide and defend himself in the swamp until the slave trade ended. Legend says that now that it’s over, he still roams the swamps, and is kind of an alligator "leader" and able to shift between alligator and human. He is known to turn to human form to cast both good and bad spells on people.


Back in my college days at FAU, me and my buddies Dave, Rob, and John were on a long vacation. We didn’t go very far from the college, just to a small town by the Everglades where John’s cousin owned a bar and would give us discounts on beer (of course no free beer) and where we could drive around the country side like maniacs. If he’d known what idiots we were, his cousin probably wouldn’t have let us touch the outside wall of his bar, but he didn’t very well, so he did. One night we’d gotten so drunk that our friend’s cousin offered to drive us to the hotel, but we simply refused and he could not stop us from getting in my car and speeding off into the country. A couple of miles out, we went on a thin dirt road that would be very hard to turn around on. At one point I had to slam my brakes as to not hit what looked like a big log in the road. No… not a log… a huge alligator. It looked like it was sleeping, so I honked my horn. I held it down until my friend in the shotgun seat, Dave, said “I can get him out of the road.” He opened my glove box and pulled out my pistol. “Don’t shoot the thing,” I said. “I’m not gonna shoot it,” he replied. “I’m just gonna shoot so close to it that it shits itself.” Being drunk, this sounded like a good idea and he was usually a good shot, so I let him proceed. He rolled down the window and shot, of course he would miss and hit the gator’s claw. Before then I didn’t know a gator could scream. “Fuck,” Dave cursed as he pulled his upper body back in the car and stomped his foot on the floor. “Great, we’ll never get anywhere now unless one of you is stupid enough to get close to a wounded animal,” Rob said. “I guess we have to back up for a few miles to get anywhere. I’m sure as hell not going out there. Dave, you have to go out if anyone does, since you--” my sentence was cut off when Dave’s window suddenly slammed shut and all the doors locked.

In the headlights, the gator’s skin began to twitch… all over. Its legs began to grow out, and in a way I can no longer describe to you in words, the alligator turned into a man. He was an old black man wearing nothing but robes, and if you looked down, you could see that he had a bloody foot. Needless to say we were stunned. I almost didn’t hear him when he spoke. In a deep, booming voice with a strange accent, the old man said, “David Ward, you have harmed me and you must pay. I vowed never to let a white man take my life, and you came close to having me break this vow tonight.” He said something in another language, and Dave, who had brown hair, dematerialized next to me. At the same time, a brown alligator began to materialize in front of the car. “You will learn our ways and live among us for the rest of your days,” the old man said to the brown gator. Then he looked up and said, “As the rest of you have aided him in some way, you will all be cursed with the constant urge to tell people this story until I decide you can be free. People will think you insane, and they may be right by the end of your lifetime if you have not yet been released from the curse.” He then clapped his hands together and everything went black.

The next morning we all woke up in the car in the hotel parking lot, all except Dave. I knew I for sure had a hangover, and it’s a safe guess to say John and Rob had one too. I groaned as the birds cawed outside, which woke the other guys up. “Were we high last night?” Rob asked. “I dunno. I don’t remember anything except a really weird dream,” John said. “I had a weird dream too, it was kinda trippy,” I replied. “Man, I’ve gotta tell you about it… Wait, where’s Dave?” “Dave turned into a gator in my dream,” said Rob. “Mine too,” said John. “Same in mine,” I said. After that “oh shit” moment we freaked out, went looking for Dave, even with the horrible headaches, and felt the urge to tell everyone we passed what had happened. I researched an alligator man online but didn't find much, so I told some local people about it. Most said I was crazy, but a few said it sounded like Uncle Monday. That’s why I was so excited to tell you my story, do you think I’m crazy?

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