Stories & Tales
The Man and the Crocodile

Once there was a camel man who was going about his work. As he was walking, he found a crocodile that was left behind after the waters of the Nile had receded. The crocodile was left on the dry land, and the sun was like fire on his skin.


The crocodile said to the camel man, "Camel man, would you take me to the river and soak me in its water. I am getting so dry! Let me moisten my mouth, may God reward you."


The camel man said to him, "But you will eat me!"


The crocodile answered, "After you have been kind to me, would I eat you? Do you really believe this?"


The man said, "Surely, you would eat me!"


"My friend, after you have carried me and taken me to the water, to eat you would be a disgrace!"


The camel man said, "All right; I will take you there, and let us see what you will do."


He let his ropes down, dismounted, wrapped the crocodile, lifted it up, and put it on top of the camel. Everything was done smoothly. The camel , with his load, kept on going until they reached the river bank. The camel man made the camel kneel down, loosened the ropes around the crocodile, carried the crocodile to the water, and let go of it.


The crocodile struck the water with its tail like and drank. Now his strength came back to him. He turned to the man and said, "Come here! where are you going?"


The man answered, " I am going home to my children!"


The crocodile said, "I have been starving for the past three days in the sun. Now I will eat: it is either you or the camel".


The camel man said, "Is this my reward? I have lifted you onto the camel and he carried you to the water and-" The crocodile [interrupted], "I haven't eaten for three days! It is either you or the camel!" And he walked closer to them.


The camel man said, "Wait, here comes the water buffalo. Let's ask her to be the judge."


The crocodile said, "All right."


"Water buffalo," said the man, "This crocodile was left behind on dry land, and he was about to die. I brought him here. Now he wants to eat either me or my camel."


The water buffalo said to the crocodile, "Eat the man; he takes my milk and beats me when I work."


The man said, "Let us disregard this. We will wait for the cow; here it comes." The man said, "Cow, I brought this crocodile here from dry land; now he wants to eat either me or my camel."


The cow said to the crocodile, "Eat the man. He makes me turn the water wheel and beats me too. Eat the man."


The camel man became very sad. What was he going to do?


The crocodile said, "Camel man, you have heard with your own ears."


The camel man saw a donkey coming. He said, "Wait, here comes the donkey; let us ask him."


He said, "Donkey, I carried this crocodile from dry land. He couldn't walk. I carried him and brought him here to safety. Now he wants to eat either me or my camel."


The donkey said, "Eat the man. He works me to death. What wrong has the camel done?"


The man said, "Wait; here comes a man. Let us ask him. Dear farmer, the crocodile was on dry land; he was unable to walk. I carried him and brought him here. Now he wants to eat either me or my camel."


The farmer said, "I don’t believe you. Were you really able to carry a crocodile and bind him with ropes?" The man said, "Yes."


The farmer checked with the crocodile, who also said, "Yes." So the farmer said, "Before I can judge, I have to be sure. Let me see how you carried the crocodile. "


The men made his camel kneel down and lifted the crocodile onto the camel’s back. The farmer asked, "Was the camel able to get up?"


The man made the camel get up.


The farmer said, "Was the camel able to walk to that place?”


The man led his camel back to where they had first found the crocodile.


The farmer said, "Will the camel be able to kneel down?" The man made the camel kneel down.


The farmer said, "Could you really untie the ropes?" The man untied the ropes.


The farmer said, "Now were you able to carry the crocodile another time? He is too heavy to carry a second time!" The man carried the crocodile.


The farmer said, "Were you able to gather your ropes and make the camel get up?”


The man said, "Yes!" And the camel got up.

They took the camel and went away, leaving the crocodile to crack in the sun. The farmer said, "Let him die. After having been saved, he wanted to eat you up. What ingratitude! And as for the buffalo, cow, and the donkey, they showed that they deserve their hard work!"