Gloria Henderson
The Gator Girl
Born: Florida, 1959

Gloria’s life began in a seemingly normal way. She was the typical bouncing baby girl with soft smooth pink skin, rosy cheeks and curly blonde hair. When she was eight months old, her parents, Dick and Dolores Henderson, began to notice some rather disturbing changes in their only child. Her smooth skin began to crack and turn slightly gray, her nose began to grow long and flat and she was showing signs of a tail. Her baby teeth began coming in as little pointy fangs that were incredibly sharp. Gloria had always hated bath time, and appeared to have an aversion to water. But now, as she grew, she wasn’t happy unless she was submerged in water, with only her eyes showing. There were other signs of change as well. She rejected her baby food and began craving more exotic culinary delights. She didn’t coo and make traditional baby sounds. Instead, she growled and snapped. Dick and Dolores finally came to the realization that their precious little baby was not a baby at all – she was beginning to take on physical and behavioral characteristic of an alligator.

The last straw for the Henderson’s came one day when Dolores put Gloria in her playpen and went into another room to clean. Things seemed peaceful for a few minutes, but then Dolores heard horrible sounds coming from the other room, screeching, yelping, crying, whimpering, growling ... then silence. She ran into the room to find Gloria lying in her play pen with fur on her lips, and a very content look on her misshapen face. Gloria had eaten Buddy the family dog.

When Dick arrived home from work that evening they talked about what they should do with Gloria. They both knew that she would never be able to lead a normal life. She would never be able to play with other children, go to school, or attend church with them. They were afraid for her future and their own. Dolores felt guilty and kept asking what she had done to deserve a child like Gloria. Had it been the fertility drugs that she had taken when she was trying to get pregnant? They were beside themselves with grief, and saw few options.

Dolores remembered going to the G.E. Circus and Sideshow as a child, where she saw Dickie the Bird Boy, Precilla The Monkey Girl, The Lobster Boy and The Amazing Mamelle Sisters. She knew, in her heart, that the circus might be Gloria’s only chance at a decent, acceptable life. The Henderson’s contacted the G.E. Circus and within a few days they arrived to take Gloria away. She seemed to take to her new life immediately. She has grown to seven feet long, is consuming 30 pounds of meat per day, and spends her free time, when not performing, lounging in her tank.

Dick and Dolores never saw their daughter again after the day she was given to the circus. They never had any more children out of fear of what they might produce.