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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fearsome tales in our Readers 4

The crocodile and the bull

I loathed this intensely because I was reared with cattle and I knew they had feelings too.

   In this one, a bull is drinking at a river when a croc flashes up from the depths and latches on to the bull's nose with a terrible vice-like grip. Thus begins a deadly tug of war, recounted in grisly detail for at least a thousand words. The bull bellows lustily in agony as its blood gradually colours the otherwise clear waters of the stream.

   He is weakened by the effort and blood loss after what always seemed ages to me, and sinks to his front knees, and each stage of the struggle is recounted in the most colourful of detail. I think there was a black and white drawing of that, although I may have created it in my imagination. I thought of poor El Torito, our jersey bull, in the same pickle, and even though he could be a mean little devil, I wouldn't have wished it on any critter.

   Finally, this bull succumbs, but not without some valiant last-ditch efforts creating a veritable river of blood, is dragged into the water by what's left of his nose, and consumed by this impressive specimen of the Crocodylus family.

   I think we were spared the detail of a large domestic animal being eaten alive, but really, they may as well have finished the story off good and proper, don’t you reckon? We would have understood from that not to swim in croc-infested waters, unlike a few game swimmers in Australia's northerly regions recently who should have been read that story several times a year for five years at school, and might be alive today as a result.

Next: Escape from the wolves [644 words]
Fearsome tales in our Readers 1: Introduction [1000 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 2: The Daisy and the Lark [256 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 3: The Little Match Girl [206 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 4: The Crocodile and the Bull [280 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 5: Escape from the wolves [444 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 6: Mazeppa's Ride [438 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 7: A Tale of Two Cities [336 words] 
Fearsome tales in our Readers 8: Gelert [343 words]

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