Kids Yoga Story: The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

In the biggest river in Africa, there were two crocodiles (River: Sit on the floor with the legs stretched straight in front. Place your hands on the floor behind you, fingers pointing towards your bottom. Pointing your toes, raise the entire body upwards.). One of the crocodiles was enormous (Crocodile: Lie on your side, your arms long over your head. Raise the top leg up towards the ceiling. Taking the leg up and down, open your big crocodile jaws.). The other was not so big. “Do you know what I would like for my lunch today? I would like a nice juicy little child,” said the Enormous Crocodile. “I never eat children. Only fish.” The Notsobig One said (Fish: Extend your legs long and point your toes. Drop down onto your elbows, resting on your forearms. Slide your hands underneath your buttocks. Lift your chest up, letting the head rest lightly on the mat.). “Children are bigger than fish. You ger bigger helpings,” said the Enormous Crocodile. “You are the greediest croc in the whole river,” the Notsobig One said. “I am the bravest croc in the whole river. I am the only one who dares to leave the water and go through the jungle to the town to look for little children to eat,” said the Enormous Crocodile (Brave Warrior: Standing up, step one foot forward and bend into the front knee. Turning the back toes out, raise the arms above your head, palms to touch.).

The Enormous Crocodile swam to the side of the river and crawled out of the water (Swimming: Lying on your tummies, stretch the arms out in front of you. Raise the right leg and left arm up. Balancing the body on the tummy, keep the other leg and arm on the floor. Lowering the arm and leg, switch sides.). A gigantic creature was standing on the riverbank. It was the Hippopotamus (Hippo/Cow: Come to hands and knees. Raise the neck upwards, bringing the belly towards the floor while curving the lower back inwards. Extend the hip outwards and slightly upwards.). “Hello, where on earth are you off to at this time of day?” “I have secret plans and clever tricks. I am going to fill my hungry empty tummy with something yummy. It is something that walks on two legs,” said the Crocodile. “You don’t really mean you are going to eat a little child? I hope you get caught and cooked and turned into a crocodile soup!” said the Hippo. Then he waddled off into the jungle.

Inside the jungle, he met the Elephant (Elephant: Standing tall, take your feet wide apart. Reach one arm high to the sky like an elephant trunk, the other arm behind the back. Sway like an elephant swinging its trunk. Move it around as you wish.). He was nibbling leaves from the top of a tall tree (Tree: Standing tall, bend your right knee. Place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Bring your hands in front of your heart or you can lift your arms up to the sky.). He did not notice the Crocodile at first. So, the Crocodile bit him on the leg. “Oh, it is you, you beastly Crocodile. You have never done a nice thing in your life. I hope you get squashed and squished and boiled up into crocodile stew.” The Enormous Crocodile laughed out loud and disappeared into the thick jungle.

A bit further on, he met the Monkey. He was sitting in a tree eating nuts. “Would you like some nuts?” asked the Monkey. “I have better things to eat than nuts. The sort of things that I am going to eat have fingers, toenails, arms, legs and feet!” said the Crocodile. The Monkey went pale and began to shake all over. “You aren’t really going to gobble up a little child, are you?” the Monkey said. “Of course, I am, they taste better with clothes on. And I eat monkeys, too.” And with one bite of his huge jaws, he bit through the tree the Monkey was sitting in and down it came. But just in time, the Monkey jumped into the next tree (Monkey Jump: Crouching down, leap up like a monkey into the air.) and swung away through the branches.

A bit further on, the Enormous Crocodile met the Roly-Poly Bird (Bird: Open your legs wide. Come halfway up into a flat back. Lift your arms out at your side like wings floating up and down as you fly like a bird.). She was building a nest (Nest: Lying on your stomach with your legs hip width apart, bend your knees, feet up and towards your bottom. Sweep your arms around and grasp the outside of the ankles or feet. Lifting your head, try to raise the knees and chest higher.) in an orange tree. “Hello the Enormous Crocodile! We don’t often see you up here in the jungle. I hope it is not something nasty.” sang the Roly-Poly Bird. “Of course, it is not nasty! It is delicious.” said the Crocodile. “It must be berries. Berries are my favorite food in the world.” sang the Roly-Poly Bird. “Crocodiles don’t eat berries. We eat little boys and girls. And sometimes we eat Roly-Poly Birds, as well.” Very quickly the Crocodile reached up and snapped his jaws at the Roly-Poly Bird. He just missed the Bird.

At last, the Enormous Crocodile came out of the other side of the jungle. He could see the town not far away. He started to creep forward towards the town. He crept over to a place where there were a lot of coconut trees. (Tree: Standing tall, bend your right knee. Place your right foot on the inside of your left leg either above or below your knee joint. Bring your hands in front of your heart or you can lift your arms up to the sky.). He knew that children from the town often came here looking for coconuts. The Enormous Crocodile quickly collected all the coconuts that were lying on the ground. He also gathered together several fallen branches. He arranged the branches and the coconuts so cleverly that he now looked exactly like a small coconut tree. Soon, two children came along. They were brother and sister. They ran towards what they thought was the small coconut tree. The boy would climb that tree and the girl would help him up (Climbing: Standing tall, raise one leg slowly up and lift the opposite arm as if you are climbing up.). The Enormous Crocodile licked his lips. Suddenly there was a tremendous whooshing noise. It was the Hippopotamus (Hippo: Come to hands and knees. Raise the neck upwards, bringing the belly towards the floor while curving the lower back inwards. Extend the hip outwards and slightly upwards.). “That is not a coconut tree! It is the Enormous Crocodile, and he wants to eat you up!” The Hippo caught him with his giant head and sent him tumbling and skidding over the ground. The boy and the girl ran back to the town as fast as they could (Running: Making a fist with your hands, bring them close to your chest. Start jogging/running on the spot.).

The Enormous Crocodile picked himself up and crept towards the place where the children’s playground was. The Enormous Crocodile found a large piece of wood and placed it in the middle of the playground. Then he lay across the piece of wood, and he looked almost exactly like a seesaw (Seesaw Partner Pose: Sit facing each other with your legs extended forward, and the soles of your feet together. Reach forward and grasp your partner’s fingers. Slowly bend forward as your partner gently pulls back. Then switch roles.). When the school was over, the children all came running and shouting with excitement because they had a new seesaw! At that moment, there was something jumped into the playground and hopped up onto the top of the swings. It was the Monkey (Monkey Jump: Crouching down, leap up like a monkey into the air.). “All of you, run, run! That is not a seesaw. It is the Enormous Crocodile, and he wants to eat you up!” the Monkey shouted. The children screamed and ran for their lives (Running: Making a fist with your hands, bring them close to your chest. Start jogging/running on the spot.). The Enormous Crocodile was left all alone in the playground.

He waddled back into the bushes to hide (Hiding/Polar Bear: Kneeling up, knees wide, bring your big toes together. Taking your hips back towards your heels, relax your body towards the floor. Make a cup over your nose with your hands.). He came to a place where they were getting ready to have a fair. There was a big roundabout. The roundabout had marvelous wooden creatures for the children to ride on. There were white horses (Carousel Horse: Step one foot forward and put your back knee down. Stretch your arms out wide, turning the shoulders and the chest towards the bent knee.), lions (Lion: Kneeling up, hands wide, inhale and then exhale with an haaaa letting the tongue drop down and the eyes open wide. Let everything release with this roar.), tigers (Tiger: Hands and knees on the floor, bring one arm out extending in front of you at shoulder level. Extend the opposite leg out behind you at hip level. Balance the body on one palm and knee.), mermaids (Mermaid: Sitting on your bottom, bend your knees and swing the heels to the outside of your right hip. Place your left palm on your right knee. Twist the torso to the left, placing your left hand on mat behind your left hip. Gaze to the left.), and fearsome dragons (Dragon: Standing up, come down onto one knee. Reaching your arms over your head, lift your chest. You may link your thumbs together and stick out your tongue as you breath out dragon fire.). When no one was looking, he crept up on to the roundabout and put himself between a wooden lion and dragon. He sat up a bit on his back legs and he kept very still. He looked exactly like a wooden crocodile (Chair Arms Forward: Standing tall, bend your knees, slowly lowering the hips to go in a half squat. Take the arms out in front of you, parallel to the floor.). Soon, the children came into the fair. Several of them ran towards the roundabout. One little girl said, “I am going to ride on that funny old wooden crocodile!” The Enormous Crocodile kept very still. Suddenly something came swishing and swooshing out of the sky. It was the Roly-Poly Bird (Flying: Standing straight with your feet together, bend your upper body forward bringing it parallel to the floor. Balancing on your right leg, raise your left leg and stretch it behind you. Extend the arms out at shoulder level.). She flew round and round the roundabout singing “Don’t ride on that crocodile! That’s not a wooden crocodile. It is a real one! He wants to eat you up!”  The little girl turned and ran. So did all the other children (Running: Making a fist with your hands, bring them close to your chest. Start jogging/running on the spot.). “I am so hungry now. I could eat six children,” the Enormous Crocodile said to himself.

Just outside the town, there was a picnic place. There were several wooden tables (Table: Sitting on your bottoms, walk your hands behind you, fingers pointing towards your hips. Feet flat, bend your knees. Lift your hips up off the ground.), and long benches (Tabletop/Bench: Place your palms and knees on the floor, hips over the knees, shoulders over the wrists with a long neck.). People were allowed to go there and have a picnic at any time. The Enormous Crocodile picked a lovely bunch of flowers (Flower: Sitting tall, bring the soles of your feet together. Slide your hands underneath your legs and take hold of your ankles. Balance on sitting bones.) and arranged it on one of the tables. From the same table, he took away one of the benches and hid it in the bushes. Then he put himself in the place where the bench had been. He made himself look very much like a long wooden bench with four legs. Soon, two boys and two girls came along carrying baskets of food. “Let’s take the table with the lovely flowers on it,” said one of the children. The Enormous Crocodile kept as quite as a mouse. “I shall eat them all,” he said to himself. Suddenly, a big deep voice from the jungle shouted “Stand back, children! Stand back!”. The children stopped and the Elephant came rushing out of the jungle (Elephant: Standing tall, take your feet wide apart. Reach one arm high to the sky like an elephant trunk, the other arm behind the back. Sway like an elephant swinging its trunk. Move it around as you wish.). “That’s not a bench you were going to sit on. It is the Enormous Crocodile, and he wants to eat you all up!”

The Elephant wrapped his trunk around the Crocodile’s tail and hoisted him up into the air (Upside Down: From standing position, open your legs wide. Placing your hands on your hips, fold forward from the hip. Move the head towards the floor looking upside down.). “We have all had enough of your clever tricks,” said the Elephant. He began to swing the Crocodile round and round in the air. At first, he swung him slowly. Then he swung him faster (Standing Spinal Twist: Standing tall, extend your arms at shoulder level palms facing down. Sweep both hands to the left keeping the rest of the body facing front. Twist one way and then repeat on the other side, keeping your feet on the ground.). Suddenly, the Elephant let go of the Crocodile’s tail and the Crocodile went shooting high up into the sky like a huge green rocket (Rocket: Open your legs wide but a comfortable distance apart. Lift your arms up over your head bringing your hands together.). He was going so fast and so high that soon the earth was just a tiny dot miles below. He whizzed past the moon (Crescent Moon: Standing tall with hands on the sides, sweep the arms up overhead palms touching. Lean over to one side so that the biceps touch the ears.). He whizzed past stars (Star: Standing up, widen your feet placing them far away from each other. Lift the arms parallel to the floor. Extend the arms at shoulder level.) and planets (Planet: Standing with your legs wide, bend your knees and squat down. Bring your arms out like a cactus, opening all the fingers to be faced in front.) until at last the Enormous Crocodile crashed headfirst into the very hot sun!

Relaxation:

What an exciting story! The greediest croc in the whole river who wants to eat something juicy and delicious… The animals, having had enough of the crocodile’s clever tricks… Children who are about to be eaten by the greedy crocodile at any moment, rescued by these animals at the last minute… How the animals managed to save the children against all the cruelty of the crocodile. The crocodile finally got what it deserved. And others went on with their lives happily. Those who take care of each other and support each other, live better lives. You may take care of the people around you… it will not only make them happy, but it will make you happy too.

When you feel ready, you can move your fingers and toes. You can pull your knees to your chest and give them a big hug. And you can get into a comfortable sitting position, bring your hands together in front of your chest. Thank you for doing yoga with me today! Namaste!

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