A boy who had, only days before, watched a crocodile show where a man put his head inside a crocodile's mouth, was injured at the weekend when he put his own head inside the mouth of his family's pet, an Alsation dog.
Bobby, 6, had been to the crocodile show near Bangkok in Thailand, where, as part of the show, a man puts his arm, leg, then head between the jaws of a crocodile that has, unknown to the captivated audience, been well-and-truly drugged to the eyeballs, which makes it - crucially - much less likely to snap its jaws shut on the man's head.
Not having been warned "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME", the boy decided to try it at home, but with the family Alsation, Gripper, also 6.
Gripper had been named thus for a very good reason: he seemed to like gripping things in his powerful canine jaws, between his sharp doggy teeth that could both cut and tear things apart in a matter of seconds in a way that had to be seen to be believed.
Gripper had not been present at the show, and wasn't sure of his role.
The dog was a puppy when Bobby was born, and had grown up alongside him - they'd been 'friends', and played together. But there had been times, thought Gripper, when the lad had been momentarily unkind to him, or when he'd ignored Gripper when he'd been upset after a smack from his mom, or when he'd thrown Gripper's stick just a little too far. Maybe this was the dog's chance to redress the balance, to get his own back! He stretched his jaws, so that the whole of Bobby's head was now inside his mouth.
As the dog deliberated on this, Bobby had second thoughts of his own. "Gripper might not understand; he might be confused; he might..." Bobby shuddered. He removed his head just as Gripper crunched down, nicking the boy's ear. There was blood, but not much. The two regarded each other, unsure of what to do next. Then, Bobby let out a cry, and went off to his mommy what had happened, and Gripper went out into the garden to see if there was anything else worth gripping.