He'd found that the crocs had short tempers as well as incredibly fast reflexes. Early in his captivity one had leapt out of the water, grabbed and twisted the monkey's tail and disappeared below the surface of the pool before Manu had even felt the pain. The crocs liked to do things quickly and efficiently and if Manu didn't pay attention they would club him with their heavy tails or do something worse.
[The high muck-a-muck of the crocs addresses Duchess, a scarlet macaw.]
He explained the plan to flood the city streets and herd the humans into breeding pens. "Then all of our females can breed," he had exulted. "Just think of all the nests and eggs and unreverted young. Think of the civilization we will build." The Holiest of the Holy Ones had been intoxicated with the idea.
"Don't you see, my dear?" he wheezed. "With the mastery of human speech there is no limit to what we can do. You will become a heroine to unborn generations of white crocodiles. Perhaps we will have shrines to the Scarlet Bird who brought us speech. It will be a wonderful symbiosis: we will improve your mind and you will teach this New One and all future New Ones to speak and they, in turn, will teach others. You will remain with us as a revered and respected teacher. We will be forever indebted to you and when you die your body will be carefully preserved and only your brightgest, most promising students will be permitted to eat from it in the Spring Glut.
"And, until then," the Holy One added, "you can teach our youngsters in your beautiful
new chambers. I might point out that, unlike your human masters, we have given you
a cage without bars."