Carol M <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: August 2001
Summary: In response to a challenge on the fanfic list, this is the author's idea of what might have happened when Clark found his head caught in the mouth of a crocodile.
This was a response to melisma's challenge that someone write the story mentioned in Bethy and ShivaSaavik's story, "It's Not Easy Being Me." This is what I came up with. I don't know when Bethy's was set in continuity, so I hope this works.
The characters aren't mine. And the Crocodile Hunter is really a crazy guy from Australia who actually hunts crocodiles. Steve Irwin can be seen on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. I wanted to have some fun, so here it is.
Clark sighed and made a flying motion at Lois as he headed out of the newsroom. Yet another rescue. This was the fifth one today and it wasn't even lunchtime yet. At least he'd get to do a little bit of travelling with this one. The call seemed to come from Florida and, even though he didn't really get cold, the weather was much nicer there this time of year.
Moments later, he landed in front of a little girl who was screaming at the top of her lungs.
"What's wrong, sweetie?"
She looked at him and screamed all the louder, but, at least, she pointed towards something behind him.
He turned to see one of the largest crocodiles he'd ever seen. Irrelevantly, he thought that alligators were found in the Florida swamps, not crocodiles, but he could be wrong on that.
The crocodile had his mouth wide open and was making a hissing sound. Clark looked around and saw a sign for a crocodile farm about 6 miles down the road. The obvious conclusion was that the croc belonged there.
He sighed. Who did he think he was? The Crocodile Hunter? Lois loved to watch that wild-man on Animal Planet, but Clark always thought the guy was a bit crazy for doing all of the things he did without being invulnerable.
But something had to be done and he was here. Maybe he should get the little girl out of the way and then hunt down Steve Irwin real quick, but he knew he was the one who was going to have to take care of this.
He picked up the little girl and took her to the safety of a nearby, though empty, house, admonishing her to be good until he could come back for her and find her parents.
He stood in front of the crocodile, debating the best way to take the critter back to its pen, and blessing the hours Lois made him watch that dang show. He needed to find something to get the croc's jaws closed. He knew if he could just tie them shut…
He scanned the area and located a piece of rope in the garage of the nearby house. In the blink of an eye, he had the rope in his hand and was starting towards the crocodile.
The next few moments were a blur, but somehow he managed to get the rope around the crocodile and hold the semi-docile animal in his arms. He could feel the croc building up his energy to launch a new assault on the superhero, but Clark didn't want that to happen. He quickly took off and headed towards the crocodile farm. He arrived in under a minute, but just as he started the descent, the creature's large, powerful tail whipped around, hitting him on the back. It caused him momentary panic, but he was able to land safely without further incident.
"Superman!" The startled handler could hardly believe what he was seeing. Superman with the missing crocodile in his arms.
Clark had difficulty responding, but managed a hoarse, "I think this belongs to you."
"Thank you so much. We just discovered that she was missing." He pointed towards an open gate. "She goes in there."
*She?* Clark walked to the area indicated and put his weight on top of the crocodile while the workers removed the rope and exited the enclosure. In the blink of an eye, Clark was off the animal and on the other side of the fence.
"Thanks again, Superman." The head handler shook Superman's hand. "I'm Joe and we're incredibly grateful to you. Muffin isn't quite as sweet as her name sounds."
"Muffin?" Clark asked with a raised eyebrow.
Joe shrugged. "My little girl named her. We live nearby and we let her name the last croc we brought in."
Clark frowned. "Is she about 5 with curly brown hair and big blue eyes?"
"Yes, she is," replied the puzzled man.
"I think she's the one who found the croc. Can you come with me?" The man nodded and gulped as Clark picked him up and flew him to the house a few miles away.
"DADDY!" The little girl ran out of the house as they touched down.
"SARAH!" Joe picked her up and held her tightly for long minutes.
Finally, she pulled back and began telling her story. "Muffin was here."
"She scared me."
She pointed at Superman. "He saved me." Her father looked gratefully at the superhero. "But Muffin tried to bite his head off."
She nodded gravely. "Muffin tried to bite his head off. I saw it."
"Wow!" He turned to Superman. "Did she really?"
Clark scratched his head. "I'm really not sure. I don't remember much about the, ah, little scrap we got into. But you might want to check her teeth. If she did bite me, they might be a bit worse for the wear."
"We will. That'll be the only way we'll know if she really did."
The little girl tugged at her daddy's sleeve. "Daddy, Joey knows."
"Um, hmm. He had the camera out."
The little nodded solemnly. "He did. We even watched the tape after Superman left."
Clark raised an eyebrow. "Do you suppose I could get a copy of that tape?"
"Sure. We have a double tape deck. We'll make you one real quick."
They went inside and Clark had the opportunity to question the young man with the video camera. It turned out he had been in the shed when he heard young Sarah screaming. He had barely exited the shed when Superman arrived. Once he knew Sarah would be safe, he started shooting with the family video camera. The film wasn't long and a few minutes later, Clark was on his way back to Metropolis.
"Can I see you in the conference room for a minute?" Clark whispered in his wife's ear.
Lois looked up, startled. "Sure." She waited until the door was closed behind them. "Tough one?"
Clark shook his head. "Not really, just different. Watch." The watched the video in silence.
Lois gulped as she saw her husband fighting a crocodile. They didn't even notice when Jimmy walked in.
"WOW! I didn't know Superman knew how to wrestle crocodiles."
The couple turned around, somewhat startled. "Neither did we, did we, Clark?"
"It's all that 'Croc Hunter' you make him watch when he's at our house," Clark mumbled.
"Oh, wow! Look at that!" Jimmy reached out and rewound the tape for a second. "His *head* is inside the croc's mouth!"
"So it is." Lois looked shocked and a little bit worried. "Is he okay, Clark?"
He shrugged. "He said he was fine when he gave me the tape."
"Man, and all that gel in his hair didn't even get messed up. Even his 'cosmetic accessories' must be invulnerable. Someone needs to tell him he wears too much anyway."
Lois sighed and mumbled under her breath. "Must be nice not to have to worry about getting a hair out of place. Some people have all the luck!"