Seldom does one have opportunity of seeing a fight between a tiger and a crocodile. I, however, had this opportunity one day when I went with my father into a forest, in search of some wild plants.
I had never been to a forest before. Therefore, whatever I saw in that forest interested me greatly. I looked at the rich vegetation all round as well as the variety of colorful flowers and birds, large and small. I saw the activity of some of the wild creatures, such as snakes, squirrels and insects. Occasionally, I heard the cry of some strange animal in pain, perhaps while being eaten by a larger animal. I also heard some rustling noises in the undergrowth; but I was not afraid of all these. Such things, I knew, were natural to the forest.
My father whose only interest was in the type of plants he wanted for my mother’s garden, however, paid little attention to the sounds and movements in these green depths. He continued his search for more and more of those plants until we reached one of the banks of a large river in the forest. There we stopped for a while to enjoy the sights around.
The scene was peaceful. Then, to our surprises and horror, we saw a tiger on the other side of the river. It was moving quietly and cautiously towards the water for a drink. A hush fell upon the jungle. My father and I were now too frightened to move from there.
However, as the tiger put its mouth into the river there was a sudden swirl of the water, and before the tiger could rush out, it was seized by a huge crocodile. The tiger’s howl of pain and anger filled me and my father with terror. Yet we waited there to see the end of the struggle between these two lords of the forest and the river. The crocodile had the advantage from the beginning. It used all its strength to pull the tiger deeper into the water, and the tiger too fought desperately to free itself from the jaws of the merciless reptiles; but the tiger soon gave up the struggle and all was quiet again. I now felt pity for the tiger which had died just to slake its thirst.
Then, my father reminded me of the narrow escape that we ourselves had. If the tiger had been on this side of the river, one of us might have died in the way the tiger did, a victim of animal appetite. And as we were returning home, I began to think of the struggle for life and savagery that lurks beneath peaceful scenes.