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Reading of The Day!

Playing It Safe

"Don't think there are no crocodiles because the water is calm."

- Anonymous

I find alligators fascinating. I will bike five miles each way to a park in my area to observe the gators that live there. Once, soon after I moved to Florida, I was riding my bike on the narrow path around the perimeter of that park. I glimpsed a six-foot-long gator sunning itself along the lake. I jumped off my bike, grabbed my camera, and quietly moved closer to get a good shot. At one point, I was five feet from the amazing creature. As I took another step, the gator slowly moved toward the water, which rippled as the gator inched its way in. I stepped closer. Just as I lifted my camera, I heard a loud grunting sound, and then the gator turned and slapped the water with its tail. It was telling me to back off! I jumped on my bike and never looked back.

I learned later that an alligator can run as fast as a horse. I realized I'd better keep my distance, especially during mating season. I reflected upon my new life in Florida and all the things I had to learn to respect. The Florida sun is another good example; it too can be a killer. I now apply sunscreen liberally before venturing out. Another thing I need to learn to respect is my diet. There are so many restaurants and early-bird specials down here, it would be easy to eat out three or four times a week. But I need to avoid the rich, fatty foods that the staples at most restaurants.

Yes, those gators have taught me a lot about respecting others as well as myself. The water may seem calm, but danger lurks-especially at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.


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