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We are told how the ancient Indians in Florida trapped the alligator, the massive tail being used as a very meaty food source. Two rows of very heavy stacks made from rough poles were driven into the earth, forming a duct-like conduit wide enough for an alligator to enter but at the same time narrow enough to make it impossible for him to turn around. The alligator was lured by bait into the conduit, then he would soon find he could go no farther. And since alligators will not back up, only go forward, he would be trapped. The stacks, while not allowing an exit, at the same time made it so that he couldn’t do anything else either. Thus, hemmed in, and utterly refusing to back up or back down, he was caught in a death trap. Although struggling and floundering as spears pierced him, he was the victim of his own doings and obstinacy. He would not back down.

And how like human beings in this situation. Anger gets us into trouble, and then pride keeps us there. Having been foolishly brought into the conduit of a very difficult situation, we refuse to admit that we are wrong. We make strong assertions, which may prove to be wrong, but we refuse to back down. Thus caught in the trap of our own doings any obstinacy, we flounder there.