The instructive story of a good snake
Published by Diogenes as Crictor
Original Title: Crictor
Madame Bodot teaches school in a peaceful French village. She has a son who is studying reptiles in Africa, but she is nonetheless unprepared for the birthday present he sends her: a baby boa constrictor. She names the infant snake Crictor, and he grows up to be an affectionate and lovable pet. Crictor attends his mistress's classes, and shows remarkable aptitude for forming letters and numbers with his body. He is particularly helpful to the children, letting them use him as a jump rope and allowing them to practice knots with him. Life goes on happily for Madame Bodot and her long friend. Then one night a burglar breaks in their house. Crictor's quick thought and action save the day. What can a burglar do against the wrath of a loyal boa constrictor? Tomi Ungerer's bright, beguiling story and pictures of this improbable situation are pure delight. Long live Crictor!