Once upon a time, there lived a giant crocodile, who has a big heart, called Azuma. Everyone expected him to be mean because members of his species are expected to be dangerous and deadly, but he did not have it in him. He was the gentlest of them all. He was a native of the Caribbean estuaries where he lived. He owns the whole Caribbean shores which he inherited from his ancestors and liked to watch people from the distance and he would not harm them. He loves to play with little children who in turn always loved it whenever they were with him. He was discrete and preferred to roam in hidden backwaters and mangrove estuaries. 

There was an old legend that kept him safe from any attack from the powerful, hungry two legged men who used animal hides and skins for leather. They protected and took care of him because they couldn't afford to lose him. It was said that the region would crumble if he were to be harmed in any way.


Azuma had an image of himself that is shared with his kins though the camera showed him so differently. He was handy, helpful to other species in their daily activities and he gave them advice whenever the need arose. He knew jokes that made people reel with laughter and he was a happy crocodile. 


There were arguments on how old he was. Some said he was older than fire, others said he was fairly young. But in the end, no one agreed about how old he was because he had been living in their midst for a very long time. 

He knew how to tell all kinds of lore from moonlight stories to fairytales. Because of this, his fame spread abroad which made many animals come from over seas, lands and mountains to listen to him even as he was wise and full of mysteries. 


One hot summer, all of the animals agreed that they needed to migrate to a cooler spot because the heat was weakening them as a result of which many of them were sick and dying. Azuma counselled them to stay but their minds were made up and they all left  except for Azuma the crocodile. He could not let go because he loved all his friends and was going to miss them a great deal but there was nothing he could do because he was already used to the waters. 


Azuma thought about the friends he would leave behind but after a week, he felt lonely. After he thought about it, he decided to catch up with the other animals. Before he started his journey, he knew it wouldn’t be polite if he left without saying goodbye so he went and bade his other friends farewell. They wept, hugged and kissed one another. They were going to miss their very good friend. 


The next morning, he was ready to go and meet other animals. He looked around and shook his head in  because he was leaving the Caribbean shores for the first time. But there was nothing he could do, he had already made up his mind. As soon as he crossed the limits of the Caribbean Sea, he was  accosted by a group of bandits. Before he could think of escaping from them, they already saw him and soon a hail of tranquilizer darts was the last thing he saw. 


He slept off and they took him away. When he woke up, he found himself in a well and tranquilizer darts were floating in the shallow water around him. He knew all was not well and he knew that if he didn’t get anyone to save him, he was going to die and in the end he knew his fate would be in the hands of a merchant who uses and sells crocodile leathers for fancy shoes and bags. He thought about what he was going to do. Then he remembered his best friend, the bird, Izuzu. He thought, if he sang a song, he would hear him and he would come and save him. Only he and Izuzu knew the song and they usually sing it whenever they were together. 


He began to sing the song with tears in his eyes. A day passed, nothing happened. The second day came and went. The third, the same thing happened. On the fourth day, Izuzu heard the song, at first, he was surprised because he knew it was only Azuma the crocodile knew that song. Then he remembered that after he went to ask for Azuma in his village, they told him that he has left to meet his other friends. 


Izuzu thought to himself; 'what could have happened to his friend?' He knew that he must be in trouble and there has been cases of bandits kidnapping animals and using their hides and skins for leather. He tried to trace where the song was coming from and he saw that it was coming from a well. He checked and he saw his friend in the well. Azuma was so happy when he saw his friend Izuzu and told him how the bandits caught him and threw him in the well and he decided to sing their song because he knew that somehow, he would hear and come to save him. Izuzu was very happy too that his friend was still alive and he assured him that he would get the other birds and they would come and help him.


©DamilolaOnce upon a time, there lived a giant crocodile, who has a big heart, called Azuma. Everyone expected him to be mean because members of his species are expected to be dangerous and deadly, but he did not have it in him. He was the gentlest of them all. He was a native of the Caribbean estuaries where he lived. He owns the whole Caribbean shores which he inherited from his ancestors and liked to watch people from the distance and he would not harm them. He loves to play with little children who in turn always loved it whenever they were with him. He was discrete and preferred to roam in hidden backwaters and mangrove estuaries. 

There was an old legend that kept him safe from any attack from the powerful, hungry two legged men who used animal hides and skins for leather. They protected and took care of him because they couldn't afford to lose him. It was said that the region would crumble if he were to be harmed in any way.


Azuma had an image of himself that is shared with his kins though the camera showed him so differently. He was handy, helpful to other species in their daily activities and he gave them advice whenever the need arose. He knew jokes that made people reel with laughter and he was a happy crocodile. 


There were arguments on how old he was. Some said he was older than fire, others said he was fairly young. But in the end, no one agreed about how old he was because he had been living in their midst for a very long time. 

He knew how to tell all kinds of lore from moonlight stories to fairytales. Because of this, his fame spread abroad which made many animals come from over seas, lands and mountains to listen to him even as he was wise and full of mysteries. 


One hot summer, all of the animals agreed that they needed to migrate to a cooler spot because the heat was weakening them as a result of which many of them were sick and dying. Azuma counselled them to stay but their minds were made up and they all left  except for Azuma the crocodile. He could not let go because he loved all his friends and was going to miss them a great deal but there was nothing he could do because he was already used to the waters. 


Azuma thought about the friends he would leave behind but after a week, he felt lonely. After he thought about it, he decided to catch up with the other animals. Before he started his journey, he knew it wouldn’t be polite if he left without saying goodbye so he went and bade his other friends farewell. They wept, hugged and kissed one another. They were going to miss their very good friend. 


The next morning, he was ready to go and meet other animals. He looked around and shook his head in  because he was leaving the Caribbean shores for the first time. But there was nothing he could do, he had already made up his mind. As soon as he crossed the limits of the Caribbean Sea, he was  accosted by a group of bandits. Before he could think of escaping from them, they already saw him and soon a hail of tranquilizer darts was the last thing he saw. 


He slept off and they took him away. When he woke up, he found himself in a well and tranquilizer darts were floating in the shallow water around him. He knew all was not well and he knew that if he didn’t get anyone to save him, he was going to die and in the end he knew his fate would be in the hands of a merchant who uses and sells crocodile leathers for fancy shoes and bags. He thought about what he was going to do. Then he remembered his best friend, the bird, Izuzu. He thought, if he sang a song, he would hear him and he would come and save him. Only he and Izuzu knew the song and they usually sing it whenever they were together. 


He began to sing the song with tears in his eyes. A day passed, nothing happened. The second day came and went. The third, the same thing happened. On the fourth day, Izuzu heard the song, at first, he was surprised because he knew it was only Azuma the crocodile knew that song. Then he remembered that after he went to ask for Azuma in his village, they told him that he has left to meet his other friends. 


Izuzu thought to himself; 'what could have happened to his friend?' He knew that he must be in trouble and there has been cases of bandits kidnapping animals and using their hides and skins for leather. He tried to trace where the song was coming from and he saw that it was coming from a well. He checked and he saw his friend in the well. Azuma was so happy when he saw his friend Izuzu and told him how the bandits caught him and threw him in the well and he decided to sing their song because he knew that somehow, he would hear and come to save him. Izuzu was very happy too that his friend was still alive and he assured him that he would get the other birds and they would come and help him.


©Damilola Famogbiyele