Day 127: Katherine
'Green dream,' he says and grins.
The ex-croc is taken to a shed next door where Peter sets to work opening it up in order to try and trace a mystery infection which has affected a growing number of the two and a half thousand animals on the farm. He traces it to a lung and takes a section away to be analysed. In the back of the shed, industrial fridges hum away protecting Bluey's newest investment - hundreds of crocodile eggs which he and his men have collected from nearby swamps and brought in here to incubate. Janelle must have noticed my look of disapproval.
'Only one per cent of those eggs survives in the wild,' she points out. 'Seventy per cent survive in controlled conditions.'
As if to convince me of this haven of crocodile happiness, Bluey appears with a tray of eggs, about four inches long, one of which he hands to me.
'What do I do?'
'Just break the top.'
(The use of the word 'just' in such a context means that whatever it is you have to do, it will not be easy, as in 'just pull that sword out of the stone' or 'just split that atom'.) Sure enough my hands begin to tremble as I pick away at the shell, feeling as I do so the corresponding thrust of a sharp pointed object trying to help me from inside. Then all at once we are united. A slimy, wriggling, miniature dinosaur strains to get out of my fingers as it strained to get out of the egg. Only then does it occur to me that I've just delivered a crocodile.
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