A long, long time ago, a few crocodiles lived on the banks of the river Nile. They were very happy and lived together as one, big family. Now, there was one crocodile named Peeny, who lived on the other side of the river bank. The other crocodiles did not like Peeny as each time they decided to swim across and visit him, Peeny would run and hide in the bushes. They could not understand why he did that and they began to think that Peeny did not like them.

It was a real mystery.

But the real reason why Peeny avoided all the other crocodiles was very different. You see, Peeny was a little different from the other crocodiles. Peeny had wings.

One hot, summer day, Peeny was sitting all alone, watching the other crocodiles play on the other side. Suddenly, he noticed a few pixies running towards him. As was expected of him, he got up and started to run and hide.

“Wait! You silly crocodile!” cried the eldest pixie. “We have come to help you!”

Peeny stopped to stare at them. He wondered what they were trying to tell him.

Then a second pixie climbed on to Peeny’s back and whispered in his ear,” We pixies know a fairy called Dewdrop. She knows your story and she would like to help you.

Peeny was surprised. He said,” How kind of Dewdrop! But I would really like to know how she can help me”.

The Pixies replied,” We will go back to Dewdrop and ask her. We will return with the answer tomorrow.”

Peeny was very happy. He thanked the pixies and they disappeared as fast as they had come.

The next morning, Peeny woke up early. He was very excited. He gobbled his breakfast as he could not wait for the pixies to return with Dewdrop’s answer.

Suddenly he could sense the pixies all around him. There were so many of them!

The eldest pixie spoke. He told Peeny that Dewdrop knew of a land where all the crocodiles were just like him! They all had wings! That is the place where Peeny belonged. In fact, Dewdrop had also met Peeny’s family there and they were eagerly waiting to meet Peeny!

Peeny was so happy. He said,” Tell me my dear friends, where can I meet Dewdrop?”

The pixies replied,” Dewdrop is waiting for you at her palace”.

The pixies explained the address to Peeny. They told him to pack his suitcase and reach the palace latest by 6.30 a.m. as the land where Dewdrop wanted to take Peeny was very far. It was going to be a long journey.

That night Peeny packed his suitcase. He also packed his favourite book,”Cinders, Red and Gold”, written by his favourite author, Ratna Manucha.

The next morning, Peeny woke up very early. He got ready, picked up his suitcase and started walking.

He walked and walked. He did not stop till he reached Dewdrop’s palace.

Dewdrop was eating her breakfast. She was very happy to see Peeny. She greeted him kindly and offered him some soup and toast. After his long walk, Peeny was very hungry so he ate a lot of toasts.

During breakfast, he asked Dewdrop if she knew how he got separated from his parents.

She told him that his family lived on a large, sandy bank near the source of the river Nile. As a baby, Peeny loved to play in the river. One day, as he was playing, a huge wave came and carried him downstream, far, far away from his home. Another wave deposited him on the bank of the Nile, where he was now living. This was the middle part of the river Nile.

Now Dewdrop was ready to start the journey. Dewdrop and Peeny sat in Dewdrop’s carriage. It was a long journey indeed.

Finally, Peeny reached home. He saw that all the crocodiles had wings, just like him! Dewdrop introduced him to his family. They were so happy to see Peeny after such a long time.

“Now I must go. My work here is done,” said Dewdrop.

Peeny was with his parents at last!

Now, Peeny and his crocodile family lived happily in their sandy home.

The crocodile with wings
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