David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines
hradzka

"First catch your buffalo."

The Ba Yei -- the water people -- live with the crocodile, and because they are more careful than other tribes their casualty list is not high. When a particularly big crocodile becomes an intolerable burden they have a curious way of dealing with him. They cut a buffalo hide into one long continuous spiral strip. ("First catch your buffalo.") This strip is about one-and-a-half inches broad and perhaps sixty feet long. To one end they tie a couple of pounds of spoiled meat, and leave it in the water's edge. If the plan works the croc swallows the meat and eight or ten feet of the hide strip, but he cannot get the rest of it down. He cannot bite the strip off because his teeth are not arranged that way, and he cannot close his gullet because the strip holds it open. Thus when he submerges he drowns. As with all best laid plans, this one does not always work, but the Ba Yei feel it is worth a try, assuming that they can organize that buffalo, which is no minor operation.

-- Col. Jeff Cooper, in To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.

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