I was looking at a photo of a capybara rubbing against a cat, and remembering all the photos of capybaras being mellow around other animals. Often they are lying down with other animals resting around them or on them. Turtles sitting on cabybaras, Ducks sitting on capybaras.
Suddenly I wanted to write a children’s book about a surly, unfriendly capybara. While all the other capybaras are rubbing up against cats and lying down so ducks can sit on them, my capybara walks around grumpily, cursing.
And the capybara will meet a crocodile, who wants to be friendly and loved and have ducks sit on him, but everyone is afraid of him because of his mouth full of sharp teeth. And somehow the two of them will become friends: the surly capybara and the friendly crocodile.
The capybara is named Bernice, and the crocodile is Fred. After they become friends (sort of), Bernice uses Fred to frighten people away. (Don’t bother me, ducks, or the croc will eat you.) Of course Fred finds out and is devastated. He goes off and sinks into a pool of water, with only his eyes and nostrils above the surface, and feels sad and lonely. Of course the capybara realizes that she actually likes and misses Fred. Even a surly cabybara needs at least one friend. She goes to him and apologizes to him. Slowly, grudgingly, Fred forgives her. He comes out of the water, and they lie down side by side, and ducks come and sit on them.