A crocodile rolled and toiled in a brackish lake, clamping its jaws, and flapping its tail. The lake rippled and stirred and slapped onto the murky shores. All about the beast was a swirl of water and waves.
A butterfly tittered by, and was struck by a rush of water. She fell suddenly, her wings wet, onto the crocodile’s nose. And just as sudden as the butterfly’s descent, the crocodile took a jagged breath and stopped.
“Why are you thrashing so?” the butterfly asked, her voice was soft.
“I am cross.” The crocodile answered, his voice a gurgle.
“Why are you upset?” she asked. She fluttered her wings, drying them in the sunlight.
“The water is too cold, my skin is too dry from the sun, and the fish in this lake are too small to fill my belly.”
“Then why not find more temperate waters?” she twitched her antenna. “Why not bask in the shade? Why not hunt for more fitting prey?”
“Do not tell me what to do!” he roared, launched the butterfly into the air, and leapt after her. “I am the fiercest beast in this lake and can swallow you whole!”
But the wind caught hold of the butterfly, whose wings were now dry. It carried her away.
“And your rage can swallow you.” she said. “That is, if that is the kind crocodile you want to be.”
The crocodile calmed. He stared at the butterfly that was now a spec wavering in the distance.
“There is another kind?” he asked no one.