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Another trap door!

Ja, 'tis spooky here as well. And we still see those creepy eyes! I shall tell you a tale by an old soothsayer, told to me when I was a child of only five years.

The first word he said was "MamMam," the second was "Goo goo" - which was quite the usual thing. But the third was "Crok crok." This was quite unusual, and it came months later. 'Twas prompted by hearing a raven make similar sounds as it flew over - and that was why they named him "Crok."

This incident showed that Crok was an observer, as well as gifted with good control of his muscles. These things grew with him; so that, at the age of fifteen, Crok was a big, strong young hunter, well able to take care of himself in all the ordinary stress of life in the woods.

The knowledge of history states that he stood on a ledge by the water - sinewy, strong, and alert with only leaves and mud for clothing. This way and that he peered: every log in sight or partly hidden by the bushes, the water, or the bend of the bank, was keenly viewed and quickly comprehended. Not a line of bubbles in the stream but was seen and understood, for Crok had come to the ford, the crossing of the river, and he must pass. Although only fifteen years old, his father had sent him with word to another camp, and it was his job to get there as best he could.

The woods were full of dangers; so was the open. But the dread of all was the crocodiles in the river. Experience had taught the crocodiles that this was a favourite place for many kinds of prey to cross, and 'twas their custom to lie in wait for the chances offered.

Keeping out of sight himself, Crok looked well about. Then, grasping his stone club by the handle, with the thong slipped over his wrist, he dropped low, strode fast through the shallow water, came to the full, deep channel, plunged quietly, struck out with strong, sweeping strokes, and reached a rocky island in the middle. Quickly climbing up on this, he searched with his eye the current behind, before, and around him. No ripple was there to signal an enemy.

So, taking a good breath, he dived off the rock into the water, swam under for a distance, came up, flung his dripping hair from his eyes, and silently struck out for the farther shore, where he landed in good time and glided out into the woods. There screened by the underbrush, he turned and studied the river, to see on the water two equal bumps a hands-breath apart, with the long ripple behind that stood for "crocodile." But Crok smiled gleefully, and strode along his proper trail.

'Twas a hundred thousand years later when I saw Crok! He was standing in that very same position by the edge of a dangerous stream, peering up and down for lurking foes, before making a dash for the other side. He saw his chance; dashing, as best he could through knee-deep water, reached that sandy isle in the middle. Then again he looked about; and, seeing an opportunity, did plunge safely to the other shore.

Ja, it was Crok again. The alertness and vigor were there. The sinewy limbs were there, but hidden in leather breeks. The jaw might be a trifle less square, but the eyes were much brighter. The broad young shoulders were masked in linen and fur, and braids were where the unkempt thatch once hung. But it was Crok, descendent of the same old Crok; with Crocketts, McCrockens, and Crockenssons for kinfolk.

Now the old, wise seer told me that in hundreds of years ahead the river would become a crowded street, with roaring motor-cars and reckless drivers; the island in the stream would be hedged with iron posts, and a policeman would make it safer. But the dangers were as great. Beware of those future crocodiles!

The gifts that made Crok survive and win a hundred thousand years ago be his today - and his the victory too.

*glances around, then whispers*
I know the key to getting out of the dungeon!
Go back to the place
Where the skeleton lies,
Find the path to freedom
Through those creepy eyes!

2002 NorseLady~AMS~DM