And then I hear a meow. A small black cat is teetering at the edge of the reeds. I think he is supposed to be flushing out a duck, but he's frightened of the water. He'll never make a decent hunting cat. He’s someone’s pet. He's even got a gold earring. The cat is too terrified to move. His ears are flat back against his head because he has seen something awful hiding in the reeds. It looks like a knobbly branch, except that there are no trees here.

It's a crocodile. I can't take my eyes off that gnarled snout, flat yellow eye and the teeth that curl over its jaw, as twisted and sharp as hooks. A crocodile is always more patient than you think. It can wait forever if it wants to, but this one has decided `It’s time!’ It flicks its crested tail, slips into the water soundlessly and glides towards the cat, stealthy and swift as a spear.

Now behind the cat appears a girl. She reaches out for her cat. She has no idea the crocodile is there, but he’s seen her all right.
You know me by now. I am not a brave hero. But what can a poor boy do?



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