It was the latest talk in town, the crocodile park. It was recently opened and as college going youngsters, we had to go there. So went there on the first day with our gang.
Ours was a gang of 6 people, all male. We had a strict no female policy in the group. The truth was none of us was social enough or was patient enough to go talk and befriend girls. We, somehow thought that if we are cool, then the girls would come and talk to us.
And it so happens with a gang like us, that if one of us talks with a girl, the rest of the 5 members would gang up against that one person and make his life, hell. On top of it, they would call the boy’s name whenever the girl crosses. Which girl would voluntarily get embarrassed? So she would stop talking.
So, five members’ strong will power and jealousy to keep that one person off a girl would eventually win over that one person’s will to befriend a girl and probably go ahead with a relationship.
That’s how each one of us made sure that the other person was single. Despite that, we did our best to impress any group of girls, we pass by. We always had to prove to ourselves that who was the most superior in the group.
So, that day, when we were roaming in the crocodile park, we saw a group of college girls at some distance. We each set our eyes on one girl each. That’s what we usually do, we choose one girl for each one of us and each member targets to impress his selection.
Then, two guys said they would start first and they suddenly started being loud, so that the girls would also hear.
“Hey, hey,” they began to shout.
“Ok, this crocodile is yours. This crocodile is mine.” one of them said.
The girls, out of curiosity started observing us. And we felt out tactic was working.
Then these guys jumped inside the cage, where there were a couple of crocodiles.
“Oh my God, what are they doing?” those girls started wondering. Also the onlookers started shouting. “Hey, what are you doing? Are you guys crazy?”
Then they went near one crocodile each and touched their tails and ran away from the scene and jumped back.
When they touched the croc’s tail, the girls had started shouting. “What the hell? What’s this guys? Oohhhh.. Ahhhh..” and everything.
It was for just a second, we knew it was risky, but we were the crazy guys, we were the wild ones. After that, our guys came back.
Once outside the cage, they started doing a hi fi with everyone, looking at the girls. Those girls didn’t move an inch from their place, probably thinking that these people were just plain mad. Then those two guys went and talked to their respective chosen girls.
Ultimately, the girls started talking and agreed to be friends, with the guys. From there, those two boys showed a thumbs up.
Then the next two guys went inside the next cage.
Once again, the girls started shouting. “Are you guys going to do again? Why are you guys doing this? Are you guys insane? It’s too risky.” they shouted again.
But this was an ego issue for us, the boys. And these guys wanted to do better, so they went near their respective crocodiles, each hit their crocodile’s head and came back. It was probably too quick for the crocodile to react, so they didn’t do anything.
Once they came outside the cage, they also started doing a hi fi and felt extremely proud. “Look, we are even more cool than you guys.” they said.
Then they went and talked to the other two girls. They too started talking. I mean what was wrong in talking? They weren’t dating or in love or something. But for us, that was a big deal and we felt it was due to our so called achievements, they got impressed and fell for our charms.
Then I and my friend remained. The most egoistic of the group. And also the most competitive.
“We should do something that they didn’t do. Right?” my friend said.
I said “Yes, we should.”
“Ok, look there. There are two crocodiles inside those two cages, they are having their mouths opened. We will go there, keep our hand inside the crocodile’s mouth and come.”
“What? Oh man. Are you crazy? It’s risky, dude.” I said.
“Come on, it will be cool. Besides we are the wild ones. Aren’t we?” he said.
I hesitated a bit.
Looking at my hesitation, he said “Come on, you are such a coward. Ok, I am going.”
“Ok, Ok, I will also come. Let’s do it.” I said.
Then me and my friend walked past the group,
“Guys, you guys were ordinary. Now, look at what the ultra wild men do. Just wait and watch.” my friend instructed the other guys.
Then we went inside. I had this adrenaline rush that it was very challenging, but deep down I was very afraid, too.
But I never had the habit of coming back once I have decided something. So I proceeded. Besides, this was an ego issue. How come I could not do something which my friend was doing. Besides my reputation is at stake in front of those girls and probably my future girlfriend.
We slowly went near the crocodile, they weren’t moving, they had their mouths wide open.
I had to do this, but I stopped, a couple of feet before the crocodile. But he continued, he kept his hand inside it’s mouth. So I too got the courage and went near and tried to keep my hand. While I was doing that, I observed he had already taken his hand outside the crocodile’s mouth.
My hands were actually shivering. I was sweating like crazy, I had this severe adrenaline rush and I was both afraid and excited, all at the same time. Finally I gathered some courage and kept my right hand inside it’s mouth. By now, he had already walked away from the area and reached outside the cage.
By then, I was hearing a lot of “Ooooh. Aaaaah. Ouch” and all from the crowd and those girls especially.
That’s when I observed a few crocodile eggs at some distance, which I didn’t observe before.
I started to think, any creature is very dangerous when they have laid their eggs, and they would do anything to protect their eggs. They are particularly vulnerable and probably afraid of others that they are going to harm the eggs and they will attack them.
While I think all these things in a split second, I planned to quickly remove my hand and start to move my hand outside. That’s when I felt a crushing bite on my arm. That crocodile was biting me.
“Aaaaaaah. Aaaaah.” I shouted.
But that crocodile didn’t leave my arm. I could feel so much force on my arm, that I felt the most painful moments in my life. It was piercing my arm with it’s sharp teeth. I could already see some blood in my arms. It was putting so much pressure on my arm, it felt like someone had kept a lot of needles on me and some elephant was stomping on that area. I felt crazy pain, that day.
Then it started to do flips.It rotated it’s entire body, with my arm in it’s mouth.
I later learnt that crocodiles did that flip to tire it’s opponent/prey out.
After the first flip, it was upside down. To balance the flip, I had to twist to my right and turn upside down, too. But then, it began flipping again. So every time I had to flip too, otherwise, it would just dislodge my arm.
It did around 7-8 flips in quick succession, probably in just 5-6 seconds. I was tired and I was fighting a losing battle.
By now, my friends had come and started beating that crocodile, but I slowly felt i was going unconscious.
That day, I got a powerful lesson in life. We all got very wild. But we underestimated the risk. At that time, everything looked crazy, as we were all young. But now, when I look at it, I think it was absolute stupidity and I regret that day.
Because, I paid the price of getting too wild. That was the day, I underwent a surgery and lost my right arm.
Dear readers, please feel free to comment/critique my stories. It would be of immense help. In case you already don’t know, I am writing this as part of the A to Z short story challenge
Here are the other stories that I have written as part of this challenge :
Please do take your time to read and drop in your comments. Thanks.