Crocodile Chronicles (PART- I)
Crocodile Chronicles (PART- I)
BURSTING THROUGH THE NILE!!
Somewhere near in the Nile tributary, Egypt...
The figure moved swiftly and noiselessly, not wanting to be observed. His white underbelly glided over the smooth, slimy stones on the flattened bulrushes and he made his way deftly into the thick, wild tangle of weeds sprouting beside the river Nile creating an eternal enigma of a green carpet. The sun looked down upon all the creatures surviving in and on its banks, bearing its fierce intent on them and gesturing to them that it wasn’t a day to step out.
Over the horizon, Joyo, a rugged - skinned, full-grown crocodile, could see the silhouette of a boat moving rapidly towards the place where he was camouflaging. On a closer look, he could make out that it was meant for poaching; he couldn’t be mistaken for they were common on the river.
Joyo was alert enough to notice that the boat approaching rapidly with renewed vigor to his place of where he was hiding; it seemed to have spotted him.
He knew what would happen next; he’d seen his grandfather and siblings endure this eternal torment; lashing whips, incisive barbed wire nooses snagging their long, elongated snouts and worst of all… death by drowning when tranquilizer darts were fired. This thought always led him to think about what could cause them, the sovereign Crocodiles in the Nile, to be strangulated in their own lair and suffer this insult. He could almost visualize in his mind the torture faced by the members of his clan through the hands of merciless humans.
“Do they even fear the great god Sobek…the Egyptian god of crocodiles?” Joyo would often think... when he would close his eyes in fear as many crocodiles, some hatchlings too were killed by the devils…Yes, all humans who came there were only devils for him and he would try all means to seek revenge from them.
He was reminded of one such incident when his older brother, desperate to save him and his younger siblings, had offered himself to be taken hostage by the ruthless humans. Memories of this incident still haunted him. Oh! How he missed his brother and longed for his company!
Other intruders on the Nile included tourists who would appear with flashy cameras and frighten the young and also the fishermen who would once in a while shoot a crocodile or two when they thought the beasts were causing a nuisance. However, this day seemed a little different. Joyo could sense it.
He had been so engrossed watching the boat that he did not see some people secretly creep up behind him and pass ropes over his body. He was startled and began rolling around in circles. He suspected he was being captured by poachers ....he felt wire nooses and snags. Someone threw a cloth over his eyes and his vision was obstructed. But between glimpses, he could see what was happening around him. A huge box, large enough to carry him, was kept ready. When he saw this, he began thrashing his tail vigorously. Seeing this, another person fired some tranquilizer darts and that made him feel groggy and put a rest to his thoughts.
When he woke up from his deep slumber, he found himself in a strange holding pen, along with lots of other crocodiles. It was grimy and the overpowering smell of ammonia took over. From one end of the pen, a feeble voice asked, “Who is the new crocodile? Let me have a look…’’he recognized the voice instantly. It belonged to his long lost brother, Draco!
In spite of new surroundings, Joyo felt nostalgic meeting Draco, his brother, a companion who was his own. Having lost his natural habitats had made him crestfallen, at the same time he could not withhold his tears of joy reuniting with Draco.
But was Joyo's joy for a lifetime or was it short-lived?
[ Read Part - II of CROCODILE CHRONICLES to know what happens in Joyo and Draco's life ]