Interesting story borrowed from...Herman Labuschagne The crocodile stones. The vast majority of people on earth will have no idea what these stones are. And given a thousand guesses, they will probably not guess right either. These stones have been in my family's possession for a very long time. For as long as I can remember, they have been kept in a shotgun shell box in my father's steel cabinet, which used to be his father's cabinet, and which is now mine. When I was a little boy my father used to sometimes go through his things at night, and then show them to me. "You remember what these are, right?" And I would nod. "They're crocodile stones." "Yes, they are." Taken from the stomach of a crocodile. We believed that crocodiles would swallow a small amount of stones, like ostriches and chickens do, probably in order to aid with their digestion. Since crocodile stomachs contain very powerful acids, any limestone-containing stones will eventually dissolve. Granitic or sandstone types, however, are gradually ground until they are smooth and lovely to the touch. I vaguely recall hearing that superstitious people believe crocodile stones have magic qualities. We, of course, don't believe such nonsense. To us they were not curious novelties that you could show to someone who has seen everything before - except this one thing. Crocodiles have always played an important role in the magic superstitions of primitive people. Even since the Egyptian times. Where I came from the Zulus believed that the gall of a crocodile was a viciously potent poison. For this reason my grandfather always insisted on being present at skinning until the gall bladder could be removed and handed to him. He would then safely dispose of it. Otherwise the Zulus would be quick to sell it to the witchdoctors, who would then put it to evil use. Another interesting old Zulu belief involves the eye of a crocodile. It was said in old Zululand that if a young man wanted to attract the affections of a certain maiden, he would wear the dried eye of a crocodile on a string around his neck. For, "as the eye of the crocodile draws a pretty little doe to the water's edge, so the eye around his neck will draw a maiden also." As for the foot on which the stones are now displayed - that is, of course the foot of an ostrich.