Part of the Obz Kids Short stories, loosely based on own experiences from life at the SAAO :)
There was a crocodile in the swamp. “Surely, that cannot be normal,” Jana had thought to herself as she raced across the compound with the rest of her surprised neighbours. Her parents had assured her and her brother Mike before their move to South Africa that it was completely civilized.
“No grass skirts and mud huts?” Mike had asked. He had seemed disappointed when the answer was negative, but Jana had breathed a sigh of relief. But now this; wild life on their fenced in compound.
Some people had already gathered on the side of the swamp, chattering amongst themselves and pointing out into the mud-sludge water. Jana decided that this could not be an everyday occurrence since the people were so intrigued, and for this, she was grateful. She saw Mike and went up to him.
“Where is it?” She asked. He pointed towards the middle of the swamp. The crocodile, the color of the murky water, was barely visible. Only the top of his snout and head were above water, but his big yellow eyes were as conspicuous as a peacock on an iceberg. “How did it get here?” That was the question on everyone's lips. It did not move, it just kept its eyes trained on them, as if daring them to do something.
The longer they stood there waiting for something to happen, the more the tension increased. And with tension came suspicion. Short attention spans became evident as speculation grew. Who told us about this in the first place? And where is that prankster of a girl, Shila? Finally, Mike threw a golf ball that landed near the crocodiles head. It didn’t even flinch. He threw another one and it bounced right off the nose. The head bobbed up and down in the waves. Mike rolled up his pants and waded in. Everyone started giving their two cents worth on the fact personally that they had thought it unnatural from the moment they had seen it. Of course, Jana thought, they’re all probably trying to hide the fact that they already had the animal rescue services on speed dial. Mike was back out of the swamp with the crocodile. It was only the head, and it was made out of Styrofoam. As Jana turned homewards something made her look up into the nearby tree. Almost five meters above her and quite neatly camouflaged sat a girl looking down at the dispersing crowd, and it was evident that her gleeful laughter was barely contained. Shila.