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For as long as I can remember, I had always loved the zoo. The atmosphere, the animals, even the smell of the various exhibits. My mom tells me that my first trip was when I was only 3 weeks old, and that I'd loved the place from that first visit.

However, there was one part of the zoo I always hated. In the Australia exhibit, there was a playground made to look like an old tree. It contained various waterfalls, rope bridges, and yes, a treehouse at the top. However, at the bottom, there was an animatronic crocodile named Woolly Bill. Woolly Bill would sit submerged in a pond of water and pop out every once in a while and startle, or in some cases, terrify guests.

I remember the first time I went down to visit Woolly Bill. I was so terrified at the sight of the thing popping out of the water, I actually fled the cave, screaming. My mom says I didn't get very far, but it didn't matter. I just wanted to get away from the thing.

Throughout the years, I made every effort I could to avoid Woolly Bill. During school trips, I would sit on a bench outside while my classmates went in. When my family would go into the tree, I would always find some excuse to not go in, claiming I needed to go to the bathroom or something.

The funny thing is, it wasn't animatronics I was afraid of. I loved all the rides at Disney that had them, and even worked at Chuck E. Cheese's in high school. But something about Woolly Bill just terrified me.

Eventually my love of the zoo dwindled to the point where I hadn't thought about the place in a few years, until a sunny day in April during my junior year of college, when my friends Sam and Matt suggested we go bum around the zoo for a few hours. I had no objections, remembering how much I used to love the place.

We spent most of the morning just wandering, and it was during lunch that Matt brought up visiting Woolly Bill.

"Hey, remember that robot alligator? The one you were always scared of?"

"I wasn't scared" I said, trying to keep the fear brought on by a potential encounter with Woolly Bill to a minimum.

"Dude you wouldn't even go in the room with it", Sam said. I shook my head trying to act unaffected, which my friends immediately saw through.

"You think its still here?", Matt asked. "Maybe we should go check it out"

"Y..yeah sure. Sounds great", I said, trying to keep my voice steady.

We finished lunch and headed over to the Australia part where the treehouse was. I spent the walk trying to talk myself out of trying to flee. After all, I was now in my 20s. That thing was made for kids.

As we walked up to the tree, I couldn't help but feel like my legs were getting heavy. I was walking a little slower, and my friends had a bit of distance on me.

I wanted to flee, but kept telling myself "Its for kids. You'll be ok"

If you didn't know, to get to the treehouse, you had to cross a long rope bridge, which was suspended across the cavern home to Woolly Bill. If you look over the edge, you could actually see him.

In the middle of the bridge, Matt stopped and turned to me. He could tell I was getting nervous, and Matt was the type to mess with people whenever they got nervous.

"You see him down there? He's waiting for you", he said, doing a bad horror movie narrator voice.

I quickly glanced over and lo and behold, there was Woolly Bill. I could see it, half submerged, jaws opening and shutting. After a moment, a fog machine kicked in and the thing sank beneath the water. I shuddered as the water became smooth, as if nothing were there ever there.

Matt could tell this was freaking me out even further, so he pushed it. "How deep do you think the water is? I'd say I could dive into it no problem"

"Don't do it dude", Sam said. I couldn't answer, I was too busy thinking about how Woolly Bill was down there, just waiting. Like a statue under the water.

Matt, deciding to take the joke one step further, slipped off his shirt and leaned out over the rope railing. "Oooh here I go! Ready? 3...2…"

Before he could say one, the rope snapped and, seemingly in slow motion, Matt fell off the bridge, and I could only watch in horror as Matt tumbled down, into the dark cavern. I could hear the Splash as he landed.

Sam instantly took off to the cavern, and I ran down the bridge to find an employee, and I  found one at the entrance to the tree. I told him about about had happened. He radioed it in and we sprinted to the cavern.

I didn't notice where I was going until I saw the pool of water. The strange part is, the cavern looked completely normal. No Sam, no sign of Matt, or anyone out of the ordinary.  Just families enjoying the zoo.

The employee looked at me like I was insane, but I repeated what had happened on the bridge again. At that moment, the fog machine turned back on, and out of the murky water came Woolly Bill. I couldn't help but stare, almost in a trance as the robot turned its head towards me, and seemed to grin.

When it did, I swore I heard a deep, growling voice say, "See ya later alligator. In a while crocodile"

The tree was closed after I told police and paramedics what had happened, and when they did a search, instead of controls for an animatronic, all they found was a book on something called Mokoi. Upon further investigation, it was revealed Mokoi is an Aboriginal God, known for devouring those who entered his domain.

I don't know what the connection is between Woolly Bill and Mokoi, but I'm going to find out. Wish me luck.

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