Diving deep into its murky depths, the crocodile moves in under the reeds to inspect its lair. It turns the rotting meat with its snout, and then slowly re-surfaces further on. Soon, its mate joins it, the two floating downstream side by side, only their nostrils and eyes visible above the water line.
More and more raindrops plop down, slowly at first, then faster. Puddles become rivulets, and then streams joining together. It rushes down the cliff sides towards the river.
High up, a deep rumbling sound starts making itself heard. It is the voice of the river as it rushes headlong towards the valley. The sound is menacing, whispering of death and destruction.
In the village, all the people are asleep, blissfully unaware of any danger. One man though is wide-awake. Soaked to the skin, the sangoma stares into the dark night. Fear clutches at his heart as he beats his drum and chants his incantations to the ancestral spirits.
Below him, near the edge of the riverbank, two pairs of eyes watch his every move. Unmoving and unfeeling, the crocodiles listen to the beat of his drum.
For a long time, he stays there, then finally returns home exhausted. He is unaware that death has touched his shoulder lightly in passing, then relented and changed its mind.
All through the dark night the rain comes pouring down. Lightning flashes purple-white and peals of thunder rend the night at constant intervals. The level of the water in the river rises steadily, and the two crocodiles are joined by many more of their kind.
The morning dawns grey and wet. The rain still pours down relentlessly. The people are grumbling because the water has seeped into their huts, wetting their feet and muddying their floors.
All through the day the downpour continues unabatedly. Slowly but surely, the water level in the river rises, but there is no one to take notice of it. Night falls quickly over the land, and the rushing river roars loud enough to raise the spirits of the dead ancestors, but the villagers sleep, blissfully unaware of any danger.
In the murky, churning waters, the creature lies still, watching the flickering light of the candles go out one by one. Many more of his kind join him. They are a silent, evil presence, harbingers of death to those unfortunate enough to cross their paths.
The creature dives once more to inspect its lair, ensuring that all is still well. Then he returns to lie quietly, unmoving, for all intents and purposes driftwood in the water. As the rain falls harder, plants and trees are dislodged from the muddy ground.