Girl fights off alligator

(NBC News) -- Juliana Ossa, a 4-foot-7-inch, 10-year-old pint-size powerhouse has an amazing story to tell after she tangled with an 8-foot alligator and lived to tell the tale.

“I thought he thought I was, like, this ginormous piece of chicken,” she laughs.

The third grader was sitting in about 18-inches of water in the designated swimming area at an Orlando, Florida park when she was attacked.

Amazingly, she had the presence of mind to remember something she recently learned from the alligator wranglers at Gatorland.

“I stick my fingers up its two nostrils, and it had to open its mouth and let my leg out so it could breathe,” she says.