LEGEND OF EAST TIMOR:
THE CROCODILE STORY
Many years ago a small crocodile lived in a swamp in a far away place.
He dreamed of becoming a big crocodile but as food was scarce, he became
weak and grew sadder and sadder.
He left for the open sea, to find food and realise his dream, but the
day became increasingly hot and he was still far from the seashore. The
little crocodile - rapidly drying out and now in desperation - lay down to
A small boy took pity on the stranded crocodile and carried him to the
sea. The crocodile, instantly revived, was grateful. “Little boy”, he
said, “you have saved my life. If I can ever help you in any way, please
call me. I will be at your command…”
A few years later, the boy called the crocodile, who was now big and
strong. “Brother Crocodile”, he said, “I too have a dream. I want to
see the world”.
“Climb on my back,” said the crocodile, “and tell me, which way
do you want to go?”
“Follow the sun”, said the boy.
The crocodile set off for the east, and they traveled the oceans for
years, until one day the crocodile said to the boy, “Brother, we have
been travelling for a long time. But now the time has come for me to die.
In memory of your kindness, I will turn myself into a beautiful island,
where you and your children can live until the sun sinks in the sea.”
As the crocodile died, he grew and grew, and his ridged back became the
mountains and his scales the hills of Timor.
Now when the people of East Timor swim in the ocean, they enter the
water saying “Don’t eat me crocodile, I am your relative”.
From the East Timor's Independence Day Committee
A Boy and the Crocodile: The Legend of East
Illustrated by children from the Familia Home Orphanage
The Boy and the Crocodile is the legend of East Timor,
about how the island of Timor got its curious shape. It is also a parable
about kindness, and now a children's book that is benefiting vulnerable
kids. The book was illustrated by children from the Familia Hope Orphanage
in East Timor, including many who lost their parents in the country's violent
struggle for independence. proceeds from sales go to the orphanage.
B99a Labarik Ho Lafaek:
Aik-nanoik id husi Timor-Leste
Desnhu husi labarik orfenato Familia Hope
Affirm Press, 2011 $20 each, paperback