Crocodile Skin

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The African folk tale reveals why crocodiles have such a rough and scaly skin. It wasn’t always like this though. The story teaches that much pride can be harmful.

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Crocodile Skin
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Hundreds of years ago, the crocodiles were very proud of their skin. their pride was not misplaced – their skins used to be slick and smooth, and they glittered with hints of gold. However they didn’t show up much on the surface. Instead, they hid from the scorching heat in the water. They spent their days in the cold mud at the bottom of a lake, and when the sun set, they swam ashore, where they stayed the whole night resting on dry land, with moonlight reflecting off their golden skin. Nocturnal animals liked to watch the spectacle and admire the sparkling beauty. The first to appear were always the owls; then a cloud of bats would arrive; and finally the felines.

One of the crocodiles became so proud of all the attention that he decided to parade his skin in the daytime as well. It would surely be so much brighter in sunlight!

He emerged from the lake on a very hot day and made himself comfortable on the shore. All the other animals were surprised and started gathering around the reptile. His skin indeed shone much brighter in sunlight than in moonlight, and almost every animal stared at the crocodile in amazement, having never seen such brightness in their lives.

But as the days went by, the strong sunlight slowly ruined the crocodile’s skin. It became drier and drier and coarser and rougher, and the golden colour soon faded and turned into an ugly shade of brown. The crocodile now looked as if he were wearing some kind of rusty armour. He had lost his beauty and splendour and the animals started gossiping about him and criticizing him. There was nothing they could admire about him anymore. He still came up onto the shore…

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