In a Country Far Away

by Kent Oswald

When I had the money I put a baby crocodile and a baby alligator in an oversized fish tank, with a salt water pool at one end and a fresh water pool at the other so each could both be at home, together. A friend inspired me to think this would demonstrate a path to coexistence among people. My fear that at the same time was admittedly a perverse hope was for the two to create a master reptilian race. In retrospect, it was a mistake to not at least check that one was male and the other female, which was probably an unforced error compounded by having minimal knowledge of the science of whether or how they might be encouraged along familial lines. In a few weeks of observation, I didn't see much happening, but I ran out of money (and most of my interest), and needed to move away, letting the experiment continue in perpetuity for me as a sort of Schrodinger's outcome. The experience serves as a metaphor, with learnings - even if I can’t quite define them - that will surely be applied in the future.


Kent Oswald instructs and learns at CUNY.