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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
This Is Not Our Egg!

Carla and Corky Crocodile sat next to the nest. Six eggs lay cuddled together, ready to hatch.

“I can't wait until our babies hatch. I'll teach them to swim and to catch fish,” Carla said.

“I'll teach them to hunt and how to find the coolest mud on the banks of the river,” Corky boasted.

What neither of them knew was that during the night another egg had rolled down the hill and landed in their nest.

One by one the eggs hatched. Out popped a crocodile. It's tiny jaws snapping up and down. “That's my boy,” Corky said.

The second egg burst open. “It's a girl.” Carla stamped her tail up and down on the ground.

The third, fourth, fifth and sixth eggs popped open, each a boy. “Five sons and a daughter. How much more could a crocodile ask for,” Corky said. “What about the last egg? I thought we only had six eggs, not seven.”

“That's odd. I thought the same thing. I suppose we didn't count right.” Carla nudged the egg with her snout. “It's much larger than our other eggs were.”

The tiny crocodiles squealed and climbed out of the nest. “Why don't I take them into the water and let them have a swim and stretch their legs,” Corky said. “Follow me children.”

A row of baby crocodiles marched through the rushes to the river, leaving Carla behind with the last egg. She looked at it, confused and bewildered. When the first crack appeared, she gasped. “It's hatching. It's probably a big boy crocodile. Boys are usually larger than the girls.” She watched as it cracked more. “Is that yellow I see? Since when are crocodiles yellow.”

After ten minutes the egg burst open. Carla fainted with fright. When she woke up, there stood a duckling. “Mama,” it said, quacking and waddling around.

Papa came back with the babies and saw the duckling. “This is not our egg! Since when do crocodiles lay duck eggs? There must be a mistake.”

“Papa,” the duckling quacked.

“I will take the duckling up the hill and see if we can find his real mama. If not, we'll have to take care of him. After all, he thinks we're his parents,” Carla said.

Corky stayed with the babies and Carla nudged the duckling up the hill. She saw a duck nibbling on some grasses. When the duck saw her, it quacked and ran away. “Wait! I've got your baby here,” Carla called.

The duck stopped and turned to see the duckling. She ran over to her nest and counted her eggs. Some of them were starting to hatch. One was missing. “It is my egg. How did you get it? Did you steal my egg?”

Carla sighed. “Somehow it rolled into our nest.” She pushed the duckling forward. “Take him now and I'll leave before I get tempted to eat him.”

The duck ran over and grabbed the duckling by the wing and took him back to her nest.

Carla went back to her own nest by the river.

Corky sighed with relief seeing the duckling was no longer there. “You didn't eat him, did you, Carla?”

“I was tempted,” Carla said, giggling. “Now, let's take our babies for another swim.” And off the crocodile family went to the river.

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