(Based on a true story. The people and events in this story are real. The hyperbole is just that.)
My brother and mother took a riverboat trip through the wilds of Costa Rica. A river filled with greenery, birdsong and curious monkeys. A river filled with crocodiles. Most were not large. Two to three feet long – some as large as four feet. But the riverboat captain explained that there were six big mothers every kilometer and 1 giant bull.
What the captain neglected to explain was that the crocodiles were all hungry for the flesh of a Canadian. Pale, sun starved – a true treat for the tropics.
The captain was exemplary. With experienced eyes, he pointed out the sights both obvious and concealed. This included the reptilian predators on the banks and in the water.
I think the captain was secretly in cahoots with his pre-historic scaled overlords. An ear bud informed him of their location. He pointed out the harmless ones while the hunters slowly began to surround the vessel biding their time until their attack.
My brother leaned against the rail rapt with attention for the sights, sounds and smells of the water way. The captain pointed out a hidden predator. Over an embankment, behind a log and hidden in the bush, a mother was either scouting for a place to lay her eggs or waiting the devour my family.
The boat pulled up close to the shore. The big croc was startled and bolted. Or so it appeared. It rushed over the bank and straight at the boat and rail where my brother cowered. It roared as it charged. All pretense of safety was abandoned. The slaughter was about to begin.
The captain hoped that once again he’d survive the feasting to collect his reward.
The crocodile reached the waters edge. Less than 10 feet from Tim. It crouched to leap onto the boat, but then, inexplicably, just slid in the water and disappeared under the keel of the boat.
There were no additional attacks during the trip.
What scared off the croc at the last moment? We may never know.