The Alligator River Story

Once upon a time there was a woman named Abigail who was in love with a man named Gregory. Gregory lived on the shore of a river. Abigail lived on the opposite shore of the river. The river which separated the two lovers was teeming with ravenous alligators. Abigail wanted to cross the river to be with Gregory. Unfortunately, the bridge had been washed out and would not be repaired for several weeks. She did not have time to drive fifty miles to the next bridge and return for work the next day. So she went to ask Sinbad, a river boat captain, to take her across. He said he would be glad to if she would consent to having sexual intercourse with him preceding the voyage. She promptly refused and went to a friend named Ivan to explain her plight. Ivan did not want to be involved at all in the situation. Abigail felt her only alternative was to accept Sinbad’s terms. Sinbad fulfilled his promise to Abigail and delivered her into the arms of Gregory.

When she told Gregory about her concupiscence in order to cross the river, Gregory cast her aside with disdain. Heartsick and dejected, Abigail turned to Slug with her tale of woe. Slug, feeling compassion for Abigail, sought out Gregory and beat him brutally. Abigail was overjoyed at the sight of Gregory getting his due. As the sun sets on the horizon, we hear Abigail laughing at Gregory.

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"Alligator River Story" adapted from Joseph Fletcher’s Situation Ethics, 1966.