The pet shop was crowded with children and parents. It was open house and the new facility was now open for all to see. The owners had worked very hard to get a good selection of reptiles, monkeys, birds, hamsters, rabbits, lizards of every sort, frogs, turtles and of course dogs. Kittens were a welcome sight as well to all the little girls who could never have a lizard or snake for a pet. However the most unusual thing swam in a bubbling pool of water. They were only about four inches long and their little legs were paddling furiously in the water searching for morsels of food.
“Wow Mr. Phifer I didn’t know you had live crocodiles in here!” A parent of a local child commented quite amazed that anyone would want one of those creatures for a pet.
“Yes we keep a few of them but don’t keep them long. They grow so fast it takes lots of work to keep them. We just thought it would be something different in our pet shop.” Mr. Phifer the store owner replied trying to assure all parents that he was cautious with all his animals.
“Oh Mom I want one of those cute little crocodiles. I have just the right aquarium for him. It has one side with a pond and then the other side is for sitting in the sun. It would be just perfect!” Andy voiced to his mother.
“How much are they?” Andy’s mother asked Mr. Phifer.
“Well today I can let you have one for $75.00 and I’ll toss in some food until you can get some if you would like.” He winked his eye at Andy for he knew how excited he was. He had remembered his affection for a pet store when he was younger. It stuck with him permanently. Andy’s mother got a permit to buy the young swimmer and promised to oversee her son diligently.
Andy took Creptor home and put him in his aquarium he had used before. It was a huge glass model and was almost immoveable because of its weight and size. It was perfect just like Andy said.
As the days passed the little crocodile grew and grew. He could not seem to get enough to eat. Within a few years he had to be put outside in a closed in fence with a real pool with a very large filter.
“Andy this creature is getting too expensive for us to keep. You need to think about perhaps giving him to a zoo and letting them care for him.” His mother announced at dinner one night.
“Ok mom I will look into it. Have you notice that Creptor knows me really well. He knows when I come to feed him and feels comfortable around me. I’m so glad he has finally adapted to this place. I just hate to see him go.” His sad face sank toward his plate of food.
Two more years passed and Creptor was huge. Andy had grocery stores giving him lots of fish, chicken and a great deal of meat when it was about to run out of date. It was still very expensive and he was working two jobs now just to keep the enormous creature.
“Did you know that you cannot be at ease around a crocodile? They have no emotions at all. I read that the crocodilians recognize over time who the person is who feeds them. This does NOT mean they ever become tame, trainable, or affectionate in any way. This entire thing means that you will be the one it is least shy around, increasing your risks of being bitten. This was written by a man who had kept them for over twenty years and had been bitten many times. I’m really serious now about getting rid of Creptor. I’m afraid he will attack you and you will be his dinner.” Andy’s mother shouted loudly hoping to get her point across this time.
“Yes Andy your mother is correct. Creptor must go and the sooner the better it will be for all of us. You will just have to wait until you are a man on your own and then choose another pet.” Andy’s father affirmed.
Andy visited the zoo the next weekend. He was dissappointed to learn that they had all they wanted or needed. They told him all of their crocodiles were socialized with each other and if they put a new one in with them, he would have to do battle to try and get to the top of the pecking order. They suggested selling him to people who bought them and used their hides to make leather products. He was told they paid good prices for them.
Andy read that adults reach sexual maturity at about 13 years of age and they became evil tempered devils who no one could be around even him. He knew he couldn’t just let him go because he might eat someone or at least all the neighbors’ dogs and cats.
So one day Andy called a man who promised to buy Creptor and would come and pick him up. The date was set. Three men came with ropes, tape, darts filled with sleeping medicines and thick gloves. They looked like swamp people to Andy. “I’m not so sure I made the right decision!” Andy winced as his father came walking up behind him.
Just then Creptor made a powerful lunge at one of the men nearest him and before anyone could reflect on any part of his movement, Creptor had the man’s arm crunched between his long sharp teeth. He pulled the man to the ground and rolled him over and over trying to rip him to pieces. Quickly the other two men came to help and were successful in rescuing what was left of their partner. He had lost his entire left arm to Creptor.
Sad to say a portion of Creptor is hanging from a wealthy ladies arm somewhere in New York City now and is no danger to anyone anymore.
Andy bought himself a Siberian husky and spends a great deal of time just loving him.
“Some wild animals are just too dangerous to be around. Creptor was one of those animals!” Andy whispered into Rocky’s ear.
Rocky seemed to be a good name for his husky. I think so!
Question: Why are crocodiles unpredictable?
Written by Sybil Shearin
All Rights Reserved.