Grandpa’s Gruesome Punjab Crocodile Tale

My maternal grandpa Ingemar Leander worked as a sales agent of the Swedish Match Company in Punjab in the 30s before he got married. It was the adventure of his lifetime. Here’s the story of his that I remember best.

Once when he went crocodile hunting on the river the party was a little clumsy and startled their prey into the water from the sandbank the animals had been basking on. Only one crocodile stayed behind and was shot. This turned out to be because it was in poor health. When they gutted the animal they found that a bone had pierced its stomach from inside.

It was the arm bone of a woman that the crocodile had eaten. The flesh was gone from her arm but her hand was intact. And so were the copper bracelets around her wrist.

I don’t know what the hunting party did with the woman’s arm.



  1. #1 Birger Johansson
    September 24, 2013

    Poetic justice? The gruesome tale brings to mind Europeans going abroad and naming things.
    “Norwegians give Scandi mountains a new name” Unilaterally re-naming a two- country mountain chain? I hereby name it “Ered Lithui”! (or possibly “Bara Några Berg”)

  2. #2 Birger Johansson
    September 24, 2013

    -Sadly, people back then could not afford metal buckets that you could hang from long poles to collect water without exposing yourself to risk. Not exotic, just ordinary poverty.

  3. #3 Martin R
    September 24, 2013

    I thought they were named “Skanderna”.

  4. #4 Birger Johansson
    September 24, 2013

    Yes, but “Skanderna” is not a proper Norwegian name.
    I borked the link:
    ( OT)…and you don’t need to travel to exotic countries to risk demonic possession: 51% of Americans think Satanic possession is a fact.

  5. #5 Martin R
    September 24, 2013

    I once heard the First Aid Kit sisters perform “Satan Is Real” live in their interview mikes on radio. Priceless.

  6. #6 Birger Johansson
    September 24, 2013

    Team uncovers more archeological treasures in southern Turkey

  7. #7 Birger Johansson
    September 25, 2013

    This story fits the trope of “heroes go on a quest, kill monster/fight evil guys”.
    Nowadays we are stuck with “heroes drive across the mountains, face the Norwegian tourist guides and beat them at poker”.

  8. #8 Bill Poser
    Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
    October 3, 2013

    Matches are not hard to make. I’m surprised that there was a market for imports from Sweden.

  9. #9 Martin R
    October 3, 2013

    Safety matches were a Swedish patent.

  10. #10 John Massey
    October 3, 2013

    I still have a box of Swallow Brand Säkerhets Tändstickor, made in Malaysia under licence from Swedish Match J.V.

  11. #11 John Massey
    October 3, 2013

    I just found out something I never knew before, despite a lifelong familiarity with their existence – the ubiquitous Redhead brand safety matches marketed in Australia are a Swedish Match brand.

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