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Alone in the Dark

Angela hates the dark.

Not the plain old dark that you get when you turn out the lights. That dark is ok, even fun sometimes to slink along like the shadow of a cat.

Angela hates the other dark. The dark that climbs inside of her turning her heart to ice and making everything feel terrible.

When Angela pictures this dark, she imagines it to be a saber-toothed crocodile. All hard,

unfriendly, cold and dangerous.

Sometimes she can feel the saber-croc lurking around her house or sometimes around her school. She can’t actually see the monster, but she can feel it.

When the saber-croc is around, no one is kind.

When the saber-croc is around there is a lot of yelling and angry voices.

When the saber-croc is around everything is horrible.

The saber-croc usually attacks the adults first. Their shadows grow dark and heavy, their eyes grow cold.

Suddenly everything is a problem. Laughing is too loud. Playing is too messy. Angry words pour out like rocks down a mountain and everyone tries to run for cover.

The worst thing about the saber-croc is that it can multiply.

It shoots out with those angry words and slides in through the ears of anyone who is too close. Then they are also a prisoner of the saber-croc. They are also stuck in the dark.

Angela isn’t sure if saber-crocs don’t get along with each other, or if they just like to fight. As soon as there are a bunch of people infested by saber-crocs, there is going to be a lot of arguing.

Angela has been studying this dark creature for a long time, and even though she can feel it coming, sometimes it still grabs ahold of her heart.

When the saber-croc is inside of her, her kind words disappear.

When the saber-croc is inside of her, everybody feels like her enemy.

When the saber-croc is inside of her, the world is cold, dark and lonely.

It sounds terrible. It feels terrible. It seems like nothing will ever be good or fun again.

But wait! Don’t go now, Angela is about to share a special secret with you.

Are you ready? Lean in close and listen carefully.

Saber-crocs are not fearless.

They are scared of fun and laughter. Nervous around beauty and colours. Most of all, they are absolutely petrified of love and kindness.

When Angela feels the saber-croc squeezing in on her heart, she knows she needs to be

brave. She won’t let this bully win.

Her first step is to make the saber-croc uncomfortable inside her body. She starts by imagining her favourite colour filling her up. Just like she has a giant orange marker and is colouring every corner of herself until she is full of beautiful colours.

That will definitely start the saber-croc squirming.

Next, she finds a tree and climbs to the top singing her favourite song. If she can’t get away to find a tree, then she uses her all powerful imagination to see herself up in a tree peaceful and safe.

Sometimes she doesn’t feel like climbing a tree and instead she will: draw and colour, snuggle some cats, run as fast as a race car, read her favourite book, build the tallest lego tower, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s something fun.

Saber-crocs don’t like fun at all.

Lastly, Angela knows that saber-crocs are really, really, really scared of love and kindness. She starts to think of everybody she loves and kind things she can do for them. She thinks of her grandma and her floppy dog, she thinks of her cat and her best friend and her brother (when he’s being nice) and her parents.

Angela has learned the best way to finish off the saber-croc is with a hug. If there is someone around who Angela loves and feels safe with, she will go and hug them (even if the saber-croc is trying to stop her). If there is no one around then Angela will wrap her arms around herself, thinking loving and kind thoughts and squeeze tight.

That’s usually enough to send that saber-croc back to the cave or toilet or whatever dungeon it was hiding in before.

Angela knows that the saber-crocs will come and go, but she loves to imagine that one day everyone will stop what they are doing and hold hands and love each other so much and be so kind that they will blast all the saber-crocs away for good.

Now, if you feel a saber-croc lurking around you, you know just what to do.

Do you think you could help Angela get rid of all the saber-crocs?

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