187. The Deadly Crocodile

A crocodile was killing sheep, cattle, even people. Everyone was afraid.
The chief asked for advice, but no one knew what to do.
Then a fox spoke up. “I may be small and not strong, but I can save you from future trouble. What you need is not strength; what you need is wisdom. That is what I can offer you.”
“What do you advise?” asked the chief.
“Don’t try to kill the crocodile when it has grown big and strong,” said the fox. “Do what I do: eat the crocodile eggs. That is how you will defeat your enemy.”

[a Ndau story from Mozambique] 

Inspired by: "The Story of the Crocodile" in Tales and Proverbs of the Vandau of Portuguese South Africa (published in Journal of American folklore) by Franz Boas and C. Kamba Simango, 1922.
Notes: You can read the original story online. Crocodiles are a menace even today in Mozambique; APA News.

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