On my hike down memory lane, I stumbled across this gem……….


Who among us does not enjoy seeing the underdog getting the upper hand once in a while, or see the little man score against some corporate giant?

Well, this is a story of how one minuscule little fellow triumphed over his massive and deadly enemy, who was trying to make a meal of him.

My friend, Trevor Schultz, whom I mentioned in my story about owls, had an obsession with reptiles. He was a crocodile hunter and utterly fearless, or bloody stupid, depending on one’s viewpoint.

He used to dive into the deepest, darkest part of the Zambesi and catch live crocodiles. He worked on the theory that as long as the croc’s eyes were covered, it would remain docile and allow him to handle it without any nasty consequence.

I remember saying to him,

” But Trevor, what about the other hungry fellows lying around with perfect vision?”

He just laughed off my fears, saying  God would protect him, or came out with his favourite saying,

” I couldn’t feel a thing.”

We did not fully understand ecology at this time, and how removing one link in the circle of life could have dangerous consequences. For instance, take out the crocodile, and the Tigerfish thrive. With no constraints on their breeding,  tigerfish, in turn, decimate the Bream population, which is the staple diet of the indigenous people.

At first, Trevor was hunting crocs for their skins. At that time, we did not know how bad that was, but back then, they were regarded as dangerous, ugly creatures worth more dead than alive.

Eventually, he began breeding them and built an enclosure surrounded by high walls with a water feature where his captive crocs could chill out, either having a swim or sunbathing on the bank.

His interest in things reptilian turned to snakes, and he acquired an enormous, twelve foot long King Cobra. This snake was his pride and joy and a magnificent specimen. Trevor took great care of the immense reptile, making sure it always had live prey to hunt and eat.

The monster thrived and grew larger every day, enjoying its diet of live food. At an incredible twelve-foot, or in today’s terminology well over three and a half metres, It was a magnificent specimen, and Trevor was very proud of it.

I used to feel sorry for the little doomed creatures who were bound for its lunch when he could not find any snakes. King Snakes favourite food are other snakes, which are its natural prey but would take other creatures when hungry.

I understood something had to die for another to live, but, sniff sniff, they were so cute.

Remember the story of David and his enemy, the giant,

Goliath? The Bible describes him as being well over nine-foot tall. Remember how he stood as a champion for the philistines, and taunted the Israelites, daring any one of them to take him on in single-handed battle?

Then remember how pipsqueak David, took centre stage and showed the bully a fat’ Howzat?’, felling him with one shot to the forehead, then cutting off his head?

Well, in a similar modern drama, one day, Trevor fed a little mouse-like creature to his pet then left the snake to its lunch. Returning a  few hours later to check on the cobra, he was devastated to find the gigantic reptile belly up and stone-cold dead.

Sitting on top of it, busily cleaning itself was the little thumb-sized shrew.

What Trevor had not known, was that shrews might be small, but their teeth carry a very powerful and potent venom. The monstrous snake never stood a chance against his furry little David, just as the colossal Goliath was defeated, by a youngster bringing lunch to his soldier brothers.

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