A modern tale by Sylviane Donnio
Today was Mothers’ Day in France – yes, you noticed? even for this, we don’t do things like others.
So, for the love of children and their mothers, a little story for the little ones – those who can’t stand being thought of as nice and expected to be angels.
This injunction is unbearable, don’t you think?
To be a child and to be an angel of love, but what a terrible idea.
And the worst thing about it is that this idea has spread like a nameless plague in all the species that walk the earth.
Being nice – cute – kind – always in a good mood – this catastrophe has spread even to crocodiles.
And here is a small family that has decided to enter with a good foot – finally – with a good face – right into the civilization of softness.
No more swimming low in the water, pretending to be a floating tree trunk and devouring the clumsy passer-by with a good mouthful of teeth.
To be nice guys, now, among crocodiles, it’s all about learning to love bananas – bananas galore, to fall flat on their faces – bananas as if it were raining – that’s what daddy, mummy and the little crocodile do.
Then obviously, the day of his birthday, his mom makes as all the moms: she asks to baby chouchou what would please him.
And the little crocodile, without being dismayed, answers: I would like to eat a child.
Can you imagine the despair of his parents? A whole education ruined! So much effort, so much deprivation, so much motivation – all for what? So that at the first pretext, the instinct comes back without warning!
Never – he will have a cake – a splendid chocolate cake.
But he doesn’t want this cake, our crocodile
And that was it, the beautiful dream of the parents, the beautiful pink and blue love between parents and child.
Too bad – baby crocodile goes off on his own – if his parents don’t offer him a child to eat, he’ll find one on his own.
He walks along the river, he knows well that towards the rivers you can easily find children who have nothing else to do in life than to let their legs float in the almost clean water. You see, because he’d really like to eat a child – that’s all.
And then suddenly – but is it possible? – this strange stick there, which looks a bit flabby, yes yes, with a strange smell which is not at all a stick smell – could it be a child at last? He throws himself, mouth wide open, crunches with his teeth
And he doesn’t understand anything at all!
A huge noise, like a waterfall of stones rolling over his head, and the earth moving away and dancing, but no, it’s him dancing, but what?
But what, is that a child? This little ugly being who makes this noise of thunder which passes between strange teeth?
And who says even more horrible words : How cute he is !
But who is cute?
But what is this child saying?
How small, how cute!
Then, it is too much for baby-crocodile. He starts to scream with all his fangs: I am not small, I am not Cute!
He doesn’t care about his weird position, his tail hurts a lot, but he manages to bite the hand of the little girl, who starts howling with laughter saying that he tickles her and that she loves him absolutely too much!
Fortunately for him, this little crazy girl lets go of him so she can laugh at her ease.
He takes the opportunity to hide in the reeds and to flee by the river, while she calls him : cute, cute, come back, come back, you are so, soooo cute
Of course, back home, he won’t tell his mom anything – he’ll even make her believe that her cake is the best cake in the world. And the bananas !
& mom, reassured, has found her little angel too cute.
But in his bed, the little crocodile thinks: yes, one day, I would like to eat a child. Because I AM NOT CUTE.
And all the kids who don’t like being cute are absolutely delighted to yell at all the adults: I’m small, but I’m not Cute!
So much for teaching adults to look at children as they are – neither nice nor mean – they are children, and it’s good enough in life, especially when it starts, to be a child.
Featured Image : I’d really like to eat a child – by Sylviane Donnio & Dorothée de Monfreid