Think about Hansel and Gretl, the Big Bad Wolf, monsters and dragons in the forest and other tales that have been handed down by generations to teach children about the dangers and realities of the world. People used to die young in much greater numbers and death was part of life. My mother and great aunt used to sing a song about "babes in the woods" who just laid down and died. When I was then carrying on the songs to my children, we all wondered why in the world a mother would sing such awful things to her children. Well, our world has changed but our traditions, from the time when oral lessons were the main teaching tools, still are handed down.
Now children are taught to be scared of different types of dangers (but we don't sing about being careful about giving information away on the internet to our small children). About the only reality we really face from the natural world is sharks. But the comeback of the crocs and gators made me look at this photo and think of the boogie bears of years past. How gruesome. The scary renditions when I was growing up? Atomic bomb drills - hiding under the desks at school. As if that could help.
It is a Reuters News Picture of the Year, of a crocodile at a zoo in the southern Taiwan city of Kaohsiung. It holds the forearm of a zoo veterinarian who had been trating it in between its teeth on April 11, 2007 and was one of the top emailed photos on Yahoo! What Reuters doesn't show is that the man had his hand surgically reattached, according to National Geographic's tale of the photo in its Top Ten Photos from National Geographic News.