I'm not sure if you've ever had tea with a crocodile, but I can tell you, it's the strangest thing ever.
"Tell me again, why did you want to meet me, child?" he asks, still holding the flowered teacup in his huge, reptilian fore-feet.
"Because everyone is scared of you, and I'm sick of being scared."
"What scares you about me?" He sets his teacup on the table, leans close to me and breathes in my face.
My voice comes out a bit shakily this time. "The unknown. You might hurt me. You might even kill me."
"And you're scared to die?"
"Yes. I'm sure I'll be fine with it after it happens, but I don't think anyone wants to know what it feels like to actually die."
He nods, and his serpent-like pupils study me further. "I've lived hundreds of times. And I've realized, from the day we're born, we begin dying. Dying isn't so bad though, it's simply change--like the butterfly."
"I'd hate being a caterpillar--doesn't a cocoon sound terribly claustrophobic?!"
Sarco laughs so hard; when he's done I think he might inhale the room, just trying to catch his breath. "All I'm saying is, you can be scared of everything. You can be so scared of death, that you end up being scared of life. None of us make it out of life alive. But that's not bad--that means we have a chance to grow...to change."
"But what happens after this? I think I know, but I wish I knew absolutely."
"Do you think the caterpillar is certain it will turn into a butterfly? They've all just heard stories too. But they go off instinct. What does your heart tell you?"
"To stop worrying. Embrace change. Not be so scared anymore." And for some reason instead of staying in my seat, or even taking a sip of my tea, I get up and hug Sarco. He's so big only a small part of me can even hug him, but he understands. "No matter the surroundings, I'm the only one who can control my own fear...or my own peace. Thank you, Sarco. I'm not so sacred anymore."
After tea, we jump in the hole at the base of his underwater, air-filled cottage, then swim back to the surface.
As I wring out my clothes, Sarcos eyes pop above the water's surface. "Thanks again, Sarco. Can I ever come visit you again?"
"You can," he says. "But I might be tempted to keep you down there forever."
"I'm not scared," I say. And then, I simply walk away.