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Posted by W von Papinešu on April 01, 2003 at 20:11:34:
MANILA BULLETIN (Philippines) 07 February 03 The parable of the crocodiles (Juan M. Flavier)
The murky river was feared and notorious for the fierce man-eating crocodiles lurking within its depths. Villagers from both sides avoided going near its banks. Even simply going across was dreaded because the water denizens were known to leap upon the low makeshift hanging bridge.
One report says a crocodile swung its tail against the bridge sending a farmer tumbling into the river where he met a slow painful death in the viselike jaws of the huge reptile.
All sorts of domesticated animals had disappeared in the area. Invariably, the crocodiles were blamed. From ducks, dogs, goats and even an occasional calf.
One day, four of the bigger crocodiles converged under the bridge to wait for the next victim. They had been deprived of a major meal for some time as villagers and livestock instinctively avoided the area.
The first crocodile said, "I wish a young child would fall. I would surely enjoy its tender body - soft cartilage and all. That would be a feast."
The second crocodile revealed his preference. "In my case, I would rather have a young woman. The body would be soft but also fleshier. That would make such a luscious meal. I remember a year ago I shared with another crocodile one such delight."
The third crocodile shared his whim for food. "Mine is straightforward. I want an adult farmer. There would be plenty of flesh but, most of all, I relish the succulent meat. The firm and well-developed muscles is my kind of treat."
The three waited expectantly for the last crocodile to share his preferences. But it remained quiet - almost asleep.
"Hey! Come on and tell us what you would wish to have for a meal," said the others.
In a gruff voice, the drowsy crocodile remarked, "Mine is simple but certainly a delicacy. I want to eat a politician."
The three crocodiles looked at each other with a surprise. "But why a politician in particular?"
"Because such a man would be nice and fat ÖÖ and with no backbone!"