The Otter Who Ate Crabs

An otter lived in a river and consistently ate crabs. He ate crabs every day and several times each night; the crabs along the river were most disturbed. They decided they would hold a conference to discuss what should be done.
“This wicked animal must be removed,” they said. “He’s eaten all our uncles, aunts and brothers, and soon he’ll eat us too. What shall we do?”
Some said he should be trapped and slowly eaten, others thought that crabs should stay in holes; a few suggested a mass attack, but no one wished to lead it. so they sought the River Spirit’s good advice.
“The gall-bladder of a crocodile is a very poisonous thing,” the River Spirit said. “One of you must eat some gall and die. He will be a deadly bait for Otter.”
No crab wanted to eat the gall, so an elderly crab was seized and stuffed with gall by force. His body was left on the river bed, and all the other crabs hid in their holes till Otter came. Otter found the poisoned crab, ate it, and soon died.
The crabs came scuttling from their holes dancing and rejoicing.
“What clever people crabs are!” they cried happily. “Our great skill and wisdom killed the evil Otter. We are brave and noble animals of great intelligence!”
The forget that they had acted on the River Spirit’s advice; they forgot to give him thanks. They danced about poor Otter singing their own praises, then swarmed on Otter to feed upon its flesh. The River Spirit was annoyed by the foolish vanity of the crabs, and sent word to another Otter in a river far away. This second Otter was angry when her heard a clan of wicked, stupid crabs had caused his brother such a tragic death, and he decided he would travel to that river and expect a just revenge.
The river crabs had grown bold and confident; they wandered where they wished now that Otter had been killed, and their holes had all filled, so when this new Otter suddenly appeared the crabs were taken by surprise — they had no place of refuge, and the slaughter which the Otter caused is still talked about in whispers to this day.
And Otter stayed amongst them, eating every crab he caught. Thus it is soon that when a victory is gained the people, while rejoicing, should remember to thank God, and should take care lest over-confidence should invite disaster.

WRITTEN BY: Patrick