How I Captured My Prey

green crocodile under body of water

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I curse my existence as I descend lower in the swamps of loneliness. My last catch escaped from my jaws! I planned everything down to the final detail…approach…timing. Like I said, I planned everything, but I was inexperienced and untrained. My awkward movements and apparent invitations made the victim privy to my true intent. After a while, the roe finished her drink and fled away. She seemed safe on land and I wasn’t about to leave my bayou to catch her. No, the bog is my home and it’s the place where I am skilled at hiding. I can survive on land, but I’m not as fast as her and I stick out like a sore thumb. I tried moving on land, but the physics and laws of gravity made me slow. No matter, I have returned to my swamp a wiser reptile with more experience and cunning than I had before.  So, I swim down into the lower depths and wait for my next meal to arrive. I’ve heard other animals say that nothing will come if you don’t do anything, but they aren’t crocs. I specialize in patience and stealth…none of which are easy for some animals.  I wonder if they can sit still and be quiet when they are hungry or stay awake when they are dead tired. Very few of them can sleep lightly with their eyes open. I can do all these things and ignore my inner urges for food. To them, I am foolish, but what they don’t know is that I was made for the swamp alone. I drag my food in the water and drown it in my desire! It’s hard to catch anything with tons of other animals around me…they make too much noise! All that chattering and bickering makes it difficult for any warm-blooded creature to catch anything worth while! No, I prefer the silence of the marshes. It’s a quiet space where I can be alone and come up with a plan to…WAIT! What’s this I see? Ah, bless my soul! It’s a beautiful, fresh, young doe coming to my swamp for a taste of my fresh waters. She must be thirsty! She’s a savory one…one that can feed me for months-years even! Calm down, friend. Don’t rush. She hasn’t started drinking yet. I must be patient, cool, calm, confident and crafty. My movements must be platonic, non-intrusive or she’ll notice my murderous nature. Aw…she left…pity. I’m certain she didn’t see me. Perhaps I am in the wrong location. No, wait…she’s back and it looks like she is eager to drink my water. I’m glad she came back. Now, to set my plan in motion. I must be careful. I can’t be fast or desperate because of hunger, but I can’t be slow or clumsy because of laziness. Half steps I say. Approach closer every other minute. Balance is the key to my success. She is drinking the water and scanning the swamps for danger. Clearly, this doe is no fool. She knows that there is danger lurking in these waters and will flee at the slightest hint of danger. One moment, I slipped up and moved out to early. Her parents nearly saw me. That blunder almost cost me my meal, but I froze. I remained still, calmed my breathing and moved away to lower her guard. It worked, after a while, she came back for another drink of my sweet waters. Ha! I laugh at her alertness and paranoia. Although she senses my presence, I somehow convinced her that I was harmless. When she looked at me directly, I never made eye contact. She was still for a moment and I held my breath in the hopes that she wouldn’t leave. I curse my blunders often because costly mistakes cost me meals. However, the good thing about me is that I correct them as soon as I can. After a few moments, the precious doe continues to drink even more! Now, after a few half steps, I swim faster. She missed me before, but I refuse to allow this chance to slip away! She’s almost done drinking and I have little time left. I sense she is comfortable and I am right under her nose. This is the point of no return. I reach up and grab her by the waist! I feel her body respond to my clamp of passion! She is in a daze, but quickly comes to her senses. She tried to escape my jaws, but couldn’t. She fell victim to my strength and went down into the waters with me. I have her by my side and she will feed me for many, many years.

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