Dante and the Zoo: A Daniel and the Lion’s Den Story

Mr. Ezra’s 6th-grade class is on a field trip to the local zoo. Dante, Colton, and Mateo wander off from the class, toward the African exhibit. “I want to check out the lions,” Colton exclaims, and the boys run to the habitat. Four mighty lions pace their large enclosure before lying in the sun with a collective stretch and yawn. Dante quickly pulls his phone from his back pocket, “I’m going to get a selfie,” he says with one hand on the rail as if he’s getting ready to jump over it. “I dare you,” says Colton. “Don’t even think about it, Dante. That would be your biggest and last mistake!” Mateo warns him before his eyes start darting around the zoo searching for an adult.

Dante taunts his classmates by leaping in the air with one hand still on the rail. He takes a final leap when Colton shoves him hard, sending him flying over the bar and landing about thirty feet from the now-sleeping lions. Fear catches Dante’s scream in his throat, not wanting to wake the lions. Instead, he finds himself curled in a ball crying softly and praying hard. Mateo quickly runs to get help as Colton stands idle with his eyes wide and his mouth gaping open.

A zookeeper appears almost from nowhere with a bucket of raw meat. He opens the feeding doors and the lions quickly get up, lick their lips, and make their way towards the bloody meat. Once inside the feeding rooms, the zookeeper closes the doors to the habitat, securing Dante at last. The zookeeper lets Dante out as his teacher and Mateo arrive at the scene. “Thank God you’re ok,” Mateo cries, “I prayed for your safety the entire time”. “You and me both,” Dante adds. “For some reason, I was calmer than I thought I would be. But still not calm enough to get that selfie.”

Weekly Bible Verse: I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live. -Psalm 116:1-2 NIV
Note to Nibble: Never stop praying, for God hears our prayers. 

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