Crocodile Smile – Part 4

As I sat staring at it the croc turned and moved a few feet away and sat with it’s back to me again. I pondered my situation. It occurred to me that someone would come along at some point and at least my plight would be known. I could implore them to go to the ranger station and get help.

An hour went by and the croc stayed planted on the bank of the lake, unmoving. With nothing else to do I decided to take photos of him to record my dilemma. He took no notice of my actions.

After a while I turned my attention to my immediate environment. The tree that was sheltering me was a massive Laurel. It’s bark was rough and not in the least comfortable but I was in no position to complain. I had no idea what the actual time was, my watch being in my pack, but the position of the sun told me it must be around ten. It was beginning to get quite warm.

It was a cloudless day and I could tell it would be stinking hot before long. Looking up into the branches of the tree I ascertained that they offered no escape route. They did not extend far enough to reach any other trees and there were no bushes near enough to any of them to jump into to make good an escape. I was well and truly trapped.

My only hope of an end to my plight was in the croc growing bored with his endeavours or someone coming along that could bring back help. Not for the first time I wondered at the behaviour of this strange beast. Surely it couldn’t be normal for a crocodile to take this much interest in a meal.

There must be other prey it could go after, I reasoned. Why was it so intent on having me? My thoughts were soon interrupted by the hunger pangs that had been increasing since waking up. They were exceeded in intensity only by the thirst that was growing rapidly. How much longer I could last without water I had no idea.

I was humiliated by having to relieve myself hanging over a tree branch but there was nothing else for it and I tried not to think about it. My arms and legs were beginning to hurt considerably and still the damned beast sat unmoving.

By early afternoon pain and boredom were battling it out for my attention. I saw no signs of anyone coming from any direction and I found myself in a constant battle to keep my spirits up. My tormentor moved only occasionally, at one point circling the tree in a menacing manner, no doubt trying to unnerve me.

I began to get very angry. The whole thing was just so incredibly unfair. I began screaming abuse at the animal, but it only moved a few feet closer to the water. Satisfied that I had gotten some little response from it I decided to try for more.

I moved along a sturdy limb and found a branch that I could break off with some considerable effort. The croc took notice of my activity and moved closer to the tree, sensing that I was up to something.

I took my prize back to the fork of the tree and stripped the leaves from it. At last I was able to pare it down to length of around two and half feet. It had considerable heft and felt good in my hands.

Allowing my anger to well up in me I took aim at my tormentor and threw the club with all my might striking him dead centre between the eyes. I howled with delight as his tail swished back and forth and he hissed his outrage. He moved quickly then into the water and disappeared into the reeds.

I watched the water for some time but saw no further movement. I sat back and savoured my small victory.

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