So Jon went with the neighbour kids to see crocodiles in a place called Mpigi, a few hours away.
Back home for dinner, this was the conversation.
Jon: ‘And, Dad, did you know that there was one that was 63 years old and another that was 84!’
Me: ‘Come on, really?’
Jon: ‘Yeah, Dad, really!’
Me: ‘So where they in a crocodile nursing home, or what?’
Jon: ‘Yeah! And we were right on the equator!’
Okay, so to recap, we have a couple of old-gummer crocodiles in a nursing home, and that home is right on the equator.
Me: ‘So do they need their food pre-chewed? I mean, what do crocodiles that old eat?
Jon: ‘Any meat, as long as it’s fresh.’
Me: ‘And you were right on the equator? So what was there?’
Jon: ‘Nothing. It was just a line. But why is it just in one spot? Is it in the middle of the world, or what?’
This is what you talk about at the dinner table when you live in Africa. And, Jon, as usual, is right. A little bit of investigative journalism on my part shows that old crocs aren’t that unusual at that croc farm on the equator.
In fact, a few years ago a 62-year-old croc reportedly died and left everyone rather saddened. That one had, according to one report, eaten at least 80 fishermen before he was taken into captivity at the farm.
Plenty of folks reportedly wanted those dead fishermen avenged. But the croc lived. For a while, anyway.
And what did he eventually die of? Stress.
From what? Not enough meat in his diet, I’m guessing. Or guilt.
Really. I can’t make this stuff up.