The Girl and the Crocodile
In a small village on the banks of a river lived a lovely young woman. While the river was not wide, it contained many dangerous crocodiles which had taken many lives in the past. There was an old bridge crossing to the other side of the river where a handsome young man lived. One day the two young people met and fell instantly in love. Every day the young man crossed the bridge and spent the entire day helping the woman’s widowed mother in their rice field. The young couple planned to marry as soon as they had saved enough money.
One night there was a huge storm and the bridge was washed away. The young man did not come the following day, nor the next. The young woman missed her boyfriend greatly but then remembered an old man who had a small boat under his house. He had smiled at her often and would surely allow her to hire his boat for the trip across the river.
But the young woman was very poor and her mother refused to help her, saying that it was a waste of hard-earnt money. So the young woman worked without food for many days and saved all the money she could by labouring for neighbours. In a weak and hungry situation, she approached the old man and offered him all her money to take her across the river in his boat. The old man refused her money and said that he would only help her if she first made love to him.
The young woman was horrified and went away angry and distressed. For many days she could not eat or sleep. What hadn’t her boyfriend tried to cross the river? He could try to get a boat couldn’t he? Didn’t he really love her? Perhaps he was sick and really needed her. She had to see him… she went to her mother again, telling her all her worries and what the old man had said. Her mother replied “I pity you my child, because I see you are suffering but, in matters of love, you must make your own decisions.” The young woman then returned to the old man and made love to him. He kept his promise and took her across the river, and did not as for money.
When she found her boyfriend he was well and drinking beer with his friends. He asked her how she had come so she told him the whole story. The young man was very angry and said he never wanted to see her again. The woman was heartbroken and tried to swim back across the river. A crocodile attacked her and she was never seen again.
What is the ethics of this story?
* Courtesy of Ms. Nuon Monichenda for sharing this story.
I’m not a great thinker or anything, by after reading this story, I notice some points. First of all, love without knowing each other very well may not bear good fruit, especially love at first sight. A human’s heart can’t be measured, so before loving a person and sacrificing everything for him/her, you should study about your lover very carefully. Besides, the girl’s decision’s harsh, but her mother doesn’t care. That’s a mistake. Being a mother, it’s a thoughtful thing to let her child learn to decide things, but somehow she should advise her so that she can choose the best possible way. Likewise, think before you leap. Don’t let anger cover your brain. 😀
After reading this short story, it reminds me about the real situation in our country. There are some case like the main actor in the story. Even it is the folk tale but I feel it is hiding the reality in it.
When I was in Cambodia, I heard many a time about women who were raped and they were afraid of telling her husbands about the story since they feel that if they tell their husbands, their husbands would divorce them….it is there in our poor society. Khmer saying : widow is a naked woman. I do not know how far it is true but Khmer women do not want to be widow that is the reason some women have been bearing the pain and have been bitten by her husband but she still does not want to get divorce. It is different from Western culture indeed.
About the story above. There are two things which overcome woman’s heart. One is hatred and another is love. Because of hatred she would do anything and because of love she would do anything also such as the case of the main actor in the story. The story above also reflects how the love of the women.
In Buddhist tale, once Buddha was burn as a great teacher. His 80 year old mother felt in love in his student but his student was so honest to him and he considered teacher’s mother as his mother. The student told his teacher about his mother. The teacher told the student that ” as long as your son is stil alive, so long I can not marry you” the student brought the word to the old lady. Old lady thought that only one thing which makes her dream comes true fast is she has to kill her son, the teacher. Old lady told the young man that she would arrange the plan for kill her own son. The student brought the news back to the master and brought the news back to old lady that ” she would kill him when he is asleep”.
When the night came, teacher and student arranged the banana tree covered with the blanket and made it lie down on the bed just like man is sleeping. The old lady could not make out it is the man or banana tree since she is quiet old. In the mid night, both the teacher and student were peeping the old lady every move. She entered her son’s room with a big sharp knife. She lifted the knife as high as she can since she thought she would kill her son only one time. But when the blade of the knife could reach the banana tree, she was out off her breath, she felt down and died.
Can we say that it is the power of love which could make old lady kill her own son?
Another thing I want to say is that the love that the young lady in the story had is the true one but the problem is that she is so young and she forgot that there is something that man can not sacrifice for love. I would say, if she had done the same thing for her boyfriend’s life, he can not accept it. But in her case we can not find any solution for her. If I was her, I would wait till he come. This can help her to understand very well that how much her boy friend loves her and if he does not come, she could realise that the guy does not love her. (All kind of problem like that will never last longer than one week).
And if I am allowed to give some evaluation, I will throw the mistake on the face of the mother. She could have found other choice for her, and could not have let her to do like that even she knew that her daughter will be exploited by the old man. Why? She is not good enough to be called as a mother.
I am sorry for my long comment. Any constructive criticism is welcomed.
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