The massive jaws of the prehistoric monster gaped wide, surging closer and closer; its seventeen foot long body driving it straight up out of its watery home with the power and inevitability of a freight train. No mercy showed in its small predatory eyes, no fear slowed its thundering approach, only the inevitability of its superior right to this food source that it held in its sight.

The strength and power of its scaly green body was terrifying, as, back feet and tail pushing, it drove ever upwards towards Darial. A rotting, hot, fetid smell blasted from the open maw that displayed sixty eight killing teeth; all of which were used to tear the dead chicken from the end of the pole. With a bone jarring “clunk,” the monster slammed its jaws closed over its prey, then, slowly sank back down into its cool, wet, refuge.

Enthusiastic applause and excited conversation broke out from the crowd around the enclosure. The giant crocodile at Currumbin Wildlife Park had once more been fed for the day, to the thrill and entertainment of its spectators.

Darial unclenched her fingers from the feeding pole, handing it back to the keeper standing next to her with a whispered, “Thank you.” She slowly turned away from the feeding platform as the blood once again seemed to warm and move through her veins, freeing her to walk and talk.

The fear that had overtaken her, as the monster had risen from the deep slowly began to fade from her mind. Hail Hera, she thought. What an experience. She wondered why everyone had considered her lucky to be chosen to feed the crocodile. Her body gave one last shudder, before letting go of the tension and returning to its usual calm, efficient state. An Interplanetary Research Officer from Teeron had to learn to overcome fear.

The husky, athletic young man, who was in charge of the feeding, grinned admiringly into her eyes.

“Hey! You did great. Most people back away and I have to stand behind them and steady the pole, but, you stood solid as a rock.”

“Yes, well, absolute terror has that affect on me.” She smiled back.

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