“Who’s going to challenge the undefeated Croc?” The crocodile asked the river creatures. The fish swam off deep in the river, the frogs hide in the lily pads, the snakes slither into the long grass and the birds perch on the higher branches shielding away from him.
They all knew what Croc was asking and none of the animals wanted to challenge Croc. “No one?” Croc asked with a toothy smile. “That’s right, all of you are afraid because you know I am better than all of you. I am strong, I am fast and you can’t keep up with me!”
Croc laughed as he swam up and down the river.The croc challenged the animals every morning with the animals all ignoring him until one day, Croc was declaring his daily challenge when he saw a turtle floating in the water without a care.
Croc dropped his scaly body into the water so just his eyes were showing as he snuck up slowly to the turtle.As he silently crossed the water and closed the distance in the blink of an eye he popped out of the water right behind the turtle and shouted: “Caught you”.
Normally the animal croc was scaring would jump with fear but the turtle did not move, he did not run nor did he hide. “What’s the matter? Aren’t you going to run away in fear?” Crock asked, puzzled.
“No, why should I?” The turtle replied in a calm voice.“Well, because I am the fearest croc! I am the strongest and I am the fastest creature in the water!” Croc explained. “Everyone is scared of me.”
The turtle was calm as it reasoned with Croc. “True strength comes from within you. Why go fast when you can go slow, and enjoy the beauty of the world around you? Why be the fastest, strongest, most feared animal when you have to spend every day alone without friends to share a good laugh with?”
Croc growls deep in his throat, annoyed by the turtle’s words. “I’ll teach you…” Croc said, opening his mouth wide, ready to eat the turtle in one bite! Croc’s jaws close around the turtle, but he couldn’t bite down.
His teeth weren’t able to get through the stone-like shell of the turtle. “What’s wrong with you?” Croc growled, trying to bite harder and shaking the turtle in his mouth. But the more the Croc struggled, the more the turtle got stuck in Croc’s mouth.
After a few minutes croc started to panic, Croc used all of his strength to spit the turtle out of his mouth, but it was no use, his teeth are stuck on the hard shell! “No matter,” Croc grumbled and shot down the river like an arrow, swimming faster and faster, as fast as he had swam before, hoping the water would wash the turtle out of his mouth but with no luck.
It has been nearly 10 minutes now and Croc was getting tired as turtle was still in his mouth, as calm as a lake. All the animals started to watch now as Croc struggled, he asked the frogs for their help, Croc shouted for the snakes to pull the turtle out but no one wanted to help Croc.
Nothing is working! Croc thought as he swam around wildly. Then, he remembered the turtle’s words. Croc took a deep breath and tried to calm down. This was not easy, for he’d always been trying to go hard, to go fast. He sighed and tried again and started to feel his muscles relax, after a few moments that felt like days to Croc, turtle slowly stood up on the crocs tongue and walked out of Crocs mouth.
“Thank you,” Croc murmured quietly, lowering his head in respect for the turtle. The turtle turned around to face him, “I am grateful that you found your inner strength and spared my life.” Croc smiled his toothy smile and leaned back on the water to see all the animals looking at him. In this moment Croc, a normally green scaly creature, went bright red out of embarrassment, he was about to start shouting at the animals and chasing them with fear but he then looked at the turtle who was smiling back at him.
The next day Croc was swimming down the river, the animals were all getting ready to swim, jump, fly or slither away from Croc expecting him to challenge them but Croc just kept swimming.
When he reached the frogs he arched his back as a bridge for them to get across the widest part of the river. When he saw the fish he used his tail to create a wave in the water so the fish could have fun jumping high.
All the creatures he saw that day instead of a scare or a challenge, Croc would help or assist, by the end of the day Croc had helped almost all the creatures in the river.
As night started to fall he saw turtle, no words were spoken but both of them sat on the river bank and watched the sunset as friends.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
We release all of our voiceOK originals under creative commons, read more about it here.