The Turtle and the Crocodile.


The story of Myrtle, the flatback turtle, and how she escaped the evil three metre saltwater crocodile called Cedric.


At about 3 a.m. on Sunday the 18th of June 2000, when the moon was full, Myrtle had the urgent urge to lay her 60 eggs in the sand above high water mark on Boomerang Beach on Bigge Island in the Kimberley region in the far north west of Australia.


As she approached the beach, she became aware that Cedric, the nasty croc, was lurking in the shallows, which is what crocs do at night.  She wasn't sure that Cedric had seen her (of course he had - crocs aren't stupid), but as a precaution, she headed for the left side of the beach and moved up alongside the rocky wall.  But she came to a dead end, blocked by rocks and had to do a U-turn.  Once clear of the rocks, she moved up the beach at an angle found a good spot and started digging a large hole in which to lay her eggs.


Meanwhile, cunning Cedric had crept straight up the beach towards Myrtle, who was facing away from him, and didn't hear him.  With this slathering jaws wide open, he sprang at her.  He tried to get her shell in his mouth, but it was very slippery, and she wrenched herself free.


Then began the big chase - Cedric after Myrtle.  Myrtle was terrified and ran for her life.  She did a wide circle across the sand before heading directly for the sea but Cedric cut across the sand trying to head her off.  In her terror, Myrtle really ran very fast but Cedric who was running parallel to her was closing fast.  Eventually, Myrtle got to the water just in time with Cedric a mere three metres away.  Once in the water, she was off like a shot.


But she hadn't yet laid her eggs.  So next night, in the moonlight at high tide, she again crept up the beach, dug the hole and deposited her eggs and covered them with sand.  Where was Cedric? He had meant to be there but, on the way, he met a large juicy fish, which he had for dinner.


Six weeks later, Myrtle’s eggs will hatch and the hatchlings (the baby turtles) will make their run for the sea.


P.M.Dexter 16 June 2000