Drawing Crocs

Survivors; our new breed of winners, know they can’t make it alone. They know where to ask for help. One of the people who asked for help was a little girl named Zamie. Her friend died.

Actually, he was killed. And he was only 10-years-old, the same age as Zamie. So, she drew pictures. She drew pictures of what really happened to her friend, because she couldn’t forget him.
Now, the story will unfold in front of you, so you know that you too can make a difference. Even if you are not famous, you can make a difference. Even if your best friend dies, or your child or your parent or your most important loved person in the world dies…you really can make a mark on the world, because you too can tell the world today how sad you were, and how you need the world to come to your assistance. Guess what? The world is at your finger tips.

This is your chance to tell the world in pictures or a story or with crafts…or maybe on Pinterest…or whatever creative genius you can generate; or are- to tell the world what happened. Because the world does care!


Picture0Chapter One
Meet the victim of this story, Xoey. Sad to say, it was a true story. Xoey was the one that died. And Zamie was the one that lived…and she wished she hadn’t, because she had lost her best friend, whose name was Xoey. And she lost him to a mean, old, rotten crocodile. But Zamie had to catch a grip on reality.
Really, she was remembering losing Xoey. She was remembering losing her friend as she lived through a new struggle of possibly losing her own daughter to another crocodile: The cancer crocodile. You know, the Big C…that seemed to eat up every third person she had ever known.
So, she decided she would tell the story of losing Xoey in pictures. She would walk around the cancer ward with her pictures, to distract the children who were suffering from this modern day crocodile, this modern day crocodile everyone called cancer

Chapter Two


Zamie’s mammy, Nyima cried and Zamie cried too when she found out why Nyima was crying. They cried because Zamie’s friend Xoey had been playing in the river – right where they had played together yesterday. And a crocodile had killed him.


Daddy explained. Sometimes it just wasn’t safe to play by the river but it did not help Zamie feel better.


All she could think about was the fact that Xoey was only playing…like they had the day before, with a mud puppy on the edge of the river.


Now Xoey was in heaven. And she didn’t have a friend to play with anymore.


Mom let in the sunshine. But it didn’t help Zamie. She was still sad.


Zamie looked at pictures of Xoey under the glass on Daddy’s desk. But she was still sad.


Daddy said, “Think about Xoey’s family. That just made Zamie sadder. Then Daddy said something that made Zamie stop crying. He reminded Zamie about saving her kitten from the army ants. And Zamie thought about it. She wasn’t crying anymore. The thought of snatching her kitten away made her smile!

Chapter 3

She had remembered something that had made her happy. She had snatched her cat away from the army ants, just in the nick of time. So she drew a picture of it, in bubbles like this. And she stopped crying. Then she thought of drawing a picture for Xoey’s parents. And she started to smile. She would draw. It would make her happy and Xoey’s family happy



She would draw Xoey’s family pictures as soon as she finished breakfast!

Zamie was remembering ALL this while she sat in a hospital with her child, almost 40 years later. She was sad again because she might lose her child to the ugly crocodile called cancer. She saw the children bravely holding hands, waiting for their treatment and she thought, I will remember again, what made me smile. I will remember and I will draw. I will draw crocodiles for these children!



So, she drew this crocodile again, the one that killed Xoey. Except this time she named him the “Ugly Cancer Crocodile.”

And Zamie told this story about being sad and drew the pictures again for all the children that were in the hospital with her daughter. They were in the river with the crocodile, like Xoey was. And they could die. Everyone was sad. But when they saw the pictures they smiled. Because they saw that they too could do something. They could remember what had made them smile. And they could write about it. Or they could draw a picture of it. And best of all they could face it better.

And the pictures helped. They helped everyone. They helped the doctors who talked about them. They helped the intern whose daughter’s picture became the cherub. They helped my daughter because people came to her room to see the her and the pictures.The pictures were talked about because they showed a different life in a different country. Most of all they helped Zamie. And then guess what happened!

MD Anderson - Katy

The day came when Zamie’s daughter rang the bell! Do you know what that meant? It meant that she had completed a year of chemo and many weeks of radiation and she was officially cancer-free! She was our new breed of people: The Resilient Breed…that group of people who survived and went on to live a wonderful life.

In fact. Here is what happened:


After the chemo-fog wore off she began college and became a nurse. Then, she got married and had a beautiful healthy baby!Toddler

Today, she is strong and helping others get through chemo and radiation, and go on to enjoy a great life like she has.

3 thoughts on “Drawing Crocs”

  1. This story was written in a children’s hospital for kids receiving treatment for cancer. It is registered in the Library of Congress under a different title. The purpose of this anecdote was to encourage and distract the children from their suffering and to release the author’s grief at the thought of losing a daughter to the big “Cancer Crocodile.”

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