The Legend of the Crocodile: A Timorese Folk Tale (Part 2) – Wild Timor Coffee

The Legend of the Crocodile: A Timorese Folk Tale (Part 2)

The following is part two of a traditional Timorese folk tale, from Fernando Sylvan's Cantolenda Maubere.

Image sourced from here


With an effort he climbed the bank and made his way through the mud and across the sand.

The sun was high in the sky, scorching the ground. There was no refuge anywhere. The crocodile became weaker and weaker until he remained where he was, roasting alive.

At that moment a lively young lad happened to pass by, humming to himself.
"What's the matter, Crocodile? You're in a bad way! Have you broken your legs? Did something fall on you?"
"No, I haven't broken anything. I'm all in one piece. It's just that although I'm small, I can't carry my own body any more. I'm too weak even to find a way out of this sweltering heat."

The lad replied: "If that's all it is, I can help you."

And with that he went up to the crocodile, picked him up and carried him to the edge of the swamp.

What the lad failed to notice as he carried him, however, was that the crocodile had perked up considerably: his eyes brightened and he opened his mouth and ran his tongue round hid saw-like teeth.

"This lad must be tastier than anything I've ever eaten," thought the crocodile, and imagined stunning the lad with a lash from his tail and then gobbling him up.
"Don't be so ungrateful," replied the other voice inside himself.
"But the need justifies the end."
"That may be, but remember it is also shameful to betray a friend. And this is the first friend you've ever had."
"So you expect me to do nothing and starve to death?"
"The lad rescued you when you needed him. Now, if you want to survive, it's up to you to look for food."
"That's true..."

So when the lad placed him on the wet ground, the crocodile smiled, rolled his eyes, shook his tail and said: "Thank you. You're the first friend I've ever had. I can't give you anything in return, but if you never been further than this swamp we see all around us, and would like one day to travel abroad, to cross the sea, come and see me..."
"I'd like that very much, because it's my dream to see what lies out there across the sea."
"Dream? Did you say dream? I too have a dream," replied the crocodile.

So they went their separate ways, the lad little suspecting that the crocodile had been tempted to eat him.

Which was just as well.



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