by Farid Alakbarov
Once upon a time in faraway Africa's
Nile river there lived a crocodile. It was a very strong and
dangerous animal. Other animals living in that forest were very
afraid of him. Because he used to catch, tear to pieces and eat
every living being that approached him. Once the animals that
came to the river saw the crocodile crying bitterly, half of
his body outside the water. "What's happened to the Crocodile?"
wondered the animals. But none of them was courageous enough
to ask the reason from the Crocodile himself. After short discussion
the animals decided to send the Lion to the Crocodile. They said:
The Crocodile is sick. And you are strong. Moreover, you
are the king of animals. The Crocodile won't dare to touch you.
But the Lion did not agree with this proposal and said:
- No, I have quarreled with him. Let someone else go. For instance,
the Elephant. He is both strong and friendly. Perhaps he can
help the Crocodile.
I won't go either, said the Elephant. Because I have
a grudge against him. Last week I came to the riverside to drink
water. Suddenly the Crocodile came out of the water and wanted
to bite me. After that I don't want to speak with him.
A little Sandpiper that had been listening to them said:
But the Crocodile is sick. He is probably suffering a lot.
We can't leave him helpless in such a condition!
All the animals looked at the Sandpiper in surprise. The Lion
Alright, go to the Crocodile. But watch out. Because the
Crocodile is a very sly animal. He can tear you to pieces and
Without uttering a word the Sandpiper flew to the river. All
of the animals gathered and were looking at him with great interest.
Finally the Sandpiper approached the Crocodile who was lying
on his stomach and crying. He didn't pay any attention to the
Sandpiper. The Sandpiper indecisively approached the Crocodile
Crocodile, why are you crying?
The Crocodile answered sobbing:
Oh Sandpiper, you'd better not ask. My teeth are aching.
It hurts me so much. Ouch, ouch! What an awful pain!
- Did you clean your teeth in the past? asked the Sandpiper.
Unfortunately, notanswered the Crocodile. My
arms are so short that I can't reach my jaws. How can I clean
my teeth with such short arms?
- Now everything is clear to me,- said the Sandpiper. Open
The Crocodile opened his mouth faint-heartedly.
Don't be afraid, said the Sandpiper. - Keep your
mouth open and don't move.
The Sandpiper entered the Crocodile's mouth and pecked the food
remains from his teeth. The Crocodile calmed down very soon,
looked at the Sandpiper and said:
Thank you very much, Sandpiper. You've rescued me from
You're welcome, answered the Sandpiper.
The Crocodile thought a little and said:
Let's be friends from this on. Come and clean my teeth
one or two times a day. This will be profitable for both you
The Sandpiper agreed. Since then these two animals, one of which
was very big and dangerous and the other one very tiny and weak,
have become friends. If you happen to be in Africa, you'll be
able to see crocodiles lying by riversides, with tiny quick birds
playing among their big and frightful teeth. These are sandpipers.
Such a friendship between living beings, which is useful for
both sides is called SYMBIOSIS by scientists. Symbiosis exists
not only between sandpipers and crocodiles, but also between
other animals and insects.
Translated into English
by Arzu Aghayeva
Web design: Farida Sadikhova