The Crocodile River Essay

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Croc-O-Die-le River Short stubby trees burned leafless and turned lifeless. Boulders baked. Water holes dried up and died. Beasts upon hungry beasts roamed the Serengeti. It was summer time; it was time for the whole herd to move again. In the evening before the great migration, the elders were busy and wildebeest children were playing croc-catch. The rules were simple; the children avoided the squares that contained the crocs or they were out. Now it was Kimuni’s turn to jump. She shuffled and shifted. She twitched and shook. She shifted and twitched; Shuffled, twitched, shifted shook. Then she closed her eyes and leapt, straight onto a crock square. Instead of her usual laugh and run for another try, Kimuni just sat on her haunches and howled. Very shaky, thought Yimuni, her mother, and no wonder! This is the poor girl’s first crossing. Every year, when the grass dried up, thousands of wildebeest crossed CROCK-O- DIE-LE river. They had to in order to find food on the other side. Every year the cruel crocodiles lay in the river water and waited. They had death traps for jaws. Any unwary beast became meat for their maws. And it was the turn of Yimuni and Kimuni’s herd to make the crossing tomorrow. Night time brought the wildebeast ever closer to the horrible journey that must be made. Kimuni jumped and shifted so much that she got the hiccups. To take her mind off the crossing, Yimuni told her all the stories that she knew; all the stories she had heard. There were tales about the earth, about the stars, about the butterflies. There were tales about leaping lions, chasing cheetahs and galloping gazelles. At last, Kimuni dozed off and Yimuni lay down. As they slept and snored, Yimuni dreamt that the night crept; crept slowly away like a thief, taking with it the rest of their wildebeest herd.

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