Lessons for the road, from Mr. Toad
So there I was, perched on the far end of the diving board, gazing out over the crystal blue waters of the saltwater pool, contemplating my next move.
Toads love water. I’m a toad. This is water. Why not?
One voice in my head said, Don’t do it, you'll be sorry!
The other voice said, Hey, you’re a free-spirited toad, go for it!
Yup. I went for it. Took a flying leap . . . Kerrr-splashshsh!
Instantly I knew I’d made the wrong choice. It didn’t feel right.
One voice in my head said, Get out of there. NOW! Head for shallow waters.
The other voice said, Hey, you only live once. You’re the boss of you. Don’t be chicken.
I listened to the first voice this time. I headed for shallow waters. It was there I spotted her. The crazy woman. Seems she spotted me too. She tried running along the poolside chasing me with some flimsy blue net in her hand.
Better get out of here. So off I swam, faster, faster, away from her, fast as my little toad-legs could take me. But she was persistent. Just then I thought I heard her say, “I’m goin’ in!”
Yup. She went in. Clothes and all . . . Kerr-splashshsh!
One voice said, She’s coming to rescue you! Swim to her net! Be wise, be safe!
The other voice said, Hey, you don’t need rescued. Swim to the deep end! Be cool, have fun!
So on my way to the deep end, I began feeling kinda woozy.
What am I doing? What was I thinking? Gotta get outa here.
I made a choice to turn around. I swam toward the crazy lady. Just as I felt myself going limp, sinking, down, down, I felt her net lift me up out of the water. Ah, safe. Just in time.
What a rebellious toad I’d been. By God’s grace I was rescued. Given a second chance.
So, if I may, I’d like to say three little words to my human friends who find themselves cruising toward trouble: STOP. THINK. TURN.
If you’re contemplating life while listening to the wrong voices, making wrong choices for all the wrong reasons, STOP. THINK. TURN.
If you’ve let pride or fear or ignorance creep in and you tell the first voice, “You’re not the boss of me!” while giving the other voice a wink and a nod on your way to the deep end, STOP. THINK. TURN.
There you have it, a word of encouragement: You have options. Choose wisely. The deep end is a death trap. I fell for it, and look what happened to me—I nearly croaked.
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