Alligator pic

There’s an Alligator in the yard!!

My neighbor Dawn had created a beautiful Koi pond in her front yard. Unfortunately, an alligator from a nearby swamp found Dawn’s Koi an irresistible treat!

What would you do if your next-door neighbor called screaming that an alligator was in your Koi pond? Dawn, an Ohio farm girl, didn’t hesitate. No alligator was going to eat all of her Koi!! Grabbing a hard-pronged rake, Dawn raced to face her intruder.

The young gator was happily gorging on her expensive fish when Dawn reached the pond. Hooking the reptile in the jaw, Dawn lifted it and headed toward a fenced retention pond. All was going well until, with one mighty swoosh, the alligator was free. Now it was the alligator’s turn to be mad. It turned and headed for Dawn.

Dawn stood her ground. When the alligator charged she brought the blunt side of the rake down on its snout and continued to pound. Finally, the alligator had enough. It turned tail and ran into the swamp never to be seen again. Ohio wins!

I did let my kids play in the yard after the ‘alligator’ incident, but not alone…and not without a hard-pronged rake nearby! Florida is full of wonders, but it’s our job as parents to teach kids how to handle the dangers so they can enjoy the benefits.

Parents face a daily balancing act. The Internet, TV, movies, books, friends, education options…so many opportunities, so many predators. I don’t advocate turning off electronics and isolating children from the culture. However, too many of us neglect to stand guard, ready to protect, educate and equip them to handle the dangers.

Standing guard is time consuming, schedule disrupting and sometimes downright boring. It means watching what they watch and reading what they read. It’s knowing the content of video games and monitoring what they’re being taught in school. It means being willing to protect our kids with the same zeal Dawn had for protecting her fish!

We must be on guard for predators who relentlessly search for ways to reach our children and steal their young minds. They are as real and as deadly as an alligator in Florida.

Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT)

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