Reginald and Oliver’s Florida Parade

AMERICAN TURKEYS

Reginald, the Turkey Commander, and Oliver’s Florida Parade

by Emma Foster

That year, when Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys celebrated Christmas in their fortress, which protected them from hunters during the winter, lots of snow covered the ground in the woods. The turkeys grew restless having to stay inside their fortress all the time, so they went to Reginald and asked if they could go south for the winter. Oliver approved of the idea because he had heard of something called the ocean, and he believed that going south for the winter would mean they could all go to the beach.

Reginald surveyed the woods outside the fortress. He knew it would be too cold for there to be any hunters around, and enough of the snow had melted for them to be able to walk easily. So the day after Christmas, Reginald, Oliver, and the other turkeys set off in a southerly direction, their army helmets strapped to their heads.

Reginald knew that they would miss the New Year, and he wondered what they would do and where they would go when they made it South. The turkeys trudged through the snow in a line, like a parade, with Reginald in the lead. At first, Oliver stood guard at the end of the line, but he slipped so many times in the slush that Reginald had him move to the front, where he could shove Oliver back up in case he fell again.

Eventually, the weather grew a bit warmer, and the turkeys noticed less snow on the ground. The snow completely disappeared the farther they traveled. A few days after New Year’s Day, Reginald noticed a few more roads, with cars driving past, and he also noticed that many of the trees seemed smaller, with round oranges stuck to them. Reginald decided to make camp among the rows of oranges, a little way away from the road.

Turkeys in Orange Grove ©Pinterest

At first, Reginald thought that they would be found by hunters, but as cars sped by, the drivers didn’t seem to notice them. They settled comfortably in the orange grove, but Oliver pestered Reginald constantly about going to see the ocean. Finally, Reginald had had enough, and he told Oliver that he was pretty sure they were not near any ocean. Oliver, shocked and depressed at not being able to see the ocean, went off by himself, past the orange grove. While he wandered around pouting, he heard a rustling in the nearby bushes. To Oliver’s surprise, another turkey popped out of the bushes. She was taller, with shinier feathers, and she introduced herself as Ginger. She explained that she lived with a few other wild turkeys on the land, owned by a man who kept an animal sanctuary.

Oliver brought Ginger back to meet the other turkeys. Reginald felt relieved when he found out where they were because that meant that they were protected from any hunters that happened to pass by.

Turkey in Line ©Musselcoundty.org

Convinced that Ginger knew the land better than anyone, he told her about wanting to see the ocean. Ginger realized how much Oliver wanted to go, so she told Reginald that she had an idea. Ginger announced that they were going to the ocean. The turkeys formed another parade line, with Ginger at the head.

The turkeys headed down the side of the road, where people often slowed their cars down to watch them. Ginger led the turkeys across a few fields and beyond one small side road, where they did not have to worry about cars. They reached a large lake at the base of another hill.

Oliver Will Have To Wait His Turn. (Great Egret on Alligator at Gatorland)

Oliver was overjoyed! He believed they had finally made it to the ocean. He raced down to the edge of the lake and jumped on a wide log to get a better view of his surroundings. The log jumped in fright. An alligator lifted his head, knocking Oliver off his back and into the shallow water. Oliver scrambled out of the water and back to Reginald. The alligator, however, apologized, saying that his name was Sid. He invited Oliver onto his back so that he could show him around the lake.

Turkey Swimming in Lake @United Poultry

Turkey Swimming in Lake @United Poultry

The turkeys, along with Reginald and Ginger sat by the lake for the rest of the day, while Sid carefully swam around the “ocean” with Oliver on his back. Oliver waved to Reginald every now and then, while Reginald sat in the grass. The turkeys seemed very happy living down South, away from hunters. Thinking about how everyone was enjoying their expedition, Reginald decided to wait until it was warmer before heading back to their fortress.


Lee’s Addition:

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding;” “Then you will walk safely in your way, And your foot will not stumble.”
(Proverbs 313, :23 NKJV)

Thanks, Emma, for another enjoyable tale from the Turkey Commander and Oliver. A photo of Oliver’s Gator Taxi was a bit hard to find, so trust this one will suffice. Just never surprised where that flock of turkeys will show up next. Keep up the good work!

Check out all of Emma’s previous stories here:

Emma’s Stories

The Wise Owl

Writing the Book of Your Wonders

“I’m thanking you, God, from a full heart, I’m writing the book on your wonders.” Psalms 9:1, The Message

A beautiful Blue-headed Vireo (Vireo solitarius) photographed December 12, 2020 in  Greene County, Georgia. ©www.williamwisephoto.com

The joy and practice of writing about the wonders of creation is nothing new. The Bible tells us that in his four-thousand and five proverbs and songs (that’s a lot of blogging!), King Solomon “spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish.”

While I’m no Solomon, I have been journaling and blogging for several years now. I confess that I don’t journal every day, and I’ve certainly gone through some dry spells. But even if there are gaps, it has proved to be an invaluable habit. While the whole process can seem introspective, and even self-centered, I see it as a form of worship.

Nature Photography Journal ©www.williamwisephoto.com.

How often did King David refer to the natural wonders around him as he wrote Psalms in praise to the God of heaven? “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained…” A view towards the mountains of Israel caused David’s heart to leap in praise, and his pen to write poems and songs of worship.

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.” Psalm 45

Even the simplest blog post and photograph can glorify the Creator. Pointing out the wonders of His creation exalts our God as the creator and sustainer of all things. Recognizing and delighting in the works of His hands, rather than in some other pursuit, is giving praise where praise is due.  It is not a replacement for the lifting of hands in the congregation, but can certainly produce a fuller, more vibrant life of worship.


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation.  — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

Timber Wolves by Ray

Timber Wolves by Ray

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Wolf

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The wolf is rather larger than our largest dogs, and looks somewhat like them; but he seems more wild, savage and cruel. The wolves go in large companies, making a terrible howling noise; and though they are in general cowardly, yet when they are very hungry they attack large animals, and even men. They almost always go out by night, and the Bible refers to this when it says,

Their horses are more fierce than the evening wolves.

Jacob, just before his death, said of one of his sons,

Benjamin shall raven as a wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at evening he shall divide the spoil.

Timber Wolf by Ray

Timber Wolf by Ray

There were once a great many wolves in New England and in other parts of the United States, and some are left yet, although many have been killed or driven away. There are still great numbers of them in some countries. In England the month of January used to be called Wolf- monat, or wolf-month; “because,” as an old book says, “people are wont in that moneth to be more in danger to be devoured of wolves than in any season els of the yeare, for that through the extremity of cold and snow those ravenous creatures could not find other beasts sufficient to feed upon.”

A sad story is told of something that happened in Russia a few years since. A woman was one day riding on a sledge with her three children over a lonely road, when suddenly she heard the noise of wolves behind her. She was not very far from home, and tried to urge her horse on, to get out of their reach; but they gained upon her every moment, and were just on the point of rushing on the sledge, when the poor woman, to save the lives of the rest, caught up one of the children and threw it to the wolves. This stopped them but a short time; they devoured it at once and again ran howling after the sledge. The mother threw out a second child, hoping to escape with the other; but in vain. Again the cruel animals were close behind her, and to save her own life, hardly knowing what she did, she threw over her only remaining child. She succeeded in reaching home herself, in safety, but where were her children? She told the terrible story; but while she was endeavoring to excuse herself by telling of her exceeding fright and danger, a man who stood by struck her on the head with an axe and killed her at one blow-saying that a woman who would thus give up her children to save her life, was not fit to live.

The Bible tells us of a time yet to come, when

The wolf shall feed with the lamb.

Perhaps this will be exactly true of the animals in those days, though it now seems so unlikely; but I suppose it means also that wicked and cruel men shall become holy and Christ-like. Then all will be peace on earth, and

none shall hurt or destroy in all” God’s “holy mountain.

___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Wolf

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Wolf

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale

Humpback Whale breaching ©Wikipedia

Humpback Whale breaching ©Wikipedia

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Whale

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The whale is mentioned in the first chapter of the Bible, 21st verse.

And God created great whales.

Some suppose that large fish of every kind are here meant.

An animal called the leviathan is described in one of the last chapters of Job, which some suppose to be the whale. It certainly means a large and strong animal, as you will see by the questions asked about him:

Canst thou draw out leviathan with a hook ? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put a hook in his nose ? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? When he raiseth himself up, the mighty are afraid. The arrow cannot make him flee; he laugheth at the shaking of a spear; he maketh the deep to boil like a pot; one would think the deep to be hoary.

This is like the whale in some things; but you will remember that it is not certain that he is meant.

Humpback whale jumping©WikiC

Humpback whale jumping©WikiC

The common whale for which so many sailors are always seeking on the great ocean, is an enormous animal. It is often found seventy feet long; and it is said that they have been found of the length of a hundred feet. If you do not know how long this would be, you will do well to ask some friend to tell you of a building or something else with which you can compare it; for it is not very likely that you will ever see the whale itself, and its size is very wonderful. It is covered with a coat of fat, sometimes more than a yard thick; and when this is cut up and put over fires in great kettles, a hundred barrels of oil are sometimes obtained from a single whale.

Perhaps you already know how they take the whale. As soon as the sailors see one, they go towards him in a boat until they get as near to him as they dare. Then they throw their harpoons at him; these are sharp-pointed irons, fastened to a very long rope, one end of which they keep in the boat. As soon as the whale is wounded, he dives down into the water, and swims away to some distance. He is usually obliged to come up again in about half an hour to breathe, for he cannot live all the while under water; and then the men throw other harpoons at him. Sometimes he comes so near as to upset the boat with a blow of his strong tail. The picture shows you a scene of this kind, where the boat was tossed into the air, the men thrown out, and one of them drowned.

___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Whale

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

White-backed Vulture (Gyps africanus) by Africaddict

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Vulture

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The vulture is called a bird of prey, because it lives on flesh; but it has not such strong claws as the eagle, to seize and tear its food. It does not often kill other animals; but preys upon those that have been killed in some other way, or have died of themselves. It is a disagreeable bird, and one that you would not like very well to see; no wonder the Israelites were forbidden to eat it. It is about a yard long from the top of its head, and it sometimes measures two yards across the wings.

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

Black Vultures at Saddle Creek by Lee

It lives only in warm or hot climates, and there it is very useful, though you might at first be puzzled to think how this can be. It is because it lives upon such things as would be very injurious to man if they were left to decay in the open air. It not only consumes the dead bodies of animals, but takes away many things from the streets of the cities which the inhabitants are too indolent to remove. It is for this reason that in the city of Cairo, in Egypt, there is a law forbidding any person to kill a vulture. These birds sometimes follow an army, and prey upon the bodies of those poor soldiers who have been killed in battle. Ah ! it is a sad thing to go to war; almost every thing about it is sad.

The vulture has a very keen eye, and, like the eagle, can see what is on the ground, even when it is very high in the air. This is referred to in the book of Job.

There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen.

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

Egyptian Vulture (Neophron percnopterus) by Nikhil

It often happens in those countries that almost as soon as an ox, or a horse, or any other large animal has been killed, great multitudes of vultures will gather around, though not one could be seen in the sky before. they seem to fly down from every part of the heavens, and being to pull and struggle for the flesh of the animal; until in the course of a few hours nothing is left but the bones. We read in Isaiah,

There shall the vultures be gathered, every one with her mate.

This must have been written by one who had seen these birds coming together, as they do in great flocks or companies.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Birds of the Bible – Vulture

Accipitridae – Kites, Hawks & Eagles

Nave’s Topical Bible – Vulture

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn

Herd of Addax: note how the horns of one animal at rest on the right appear to be joined as one horn.

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Unicorn

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

There is only this animal mentioned in the Bible, the name of which begins with U, and of this I cannot give you a picture, because no person now knows what sort of an animal it was. Some suppose it was a kind of wild goat; others think that it was a sort of deer; and others, that it was what we call the rhinoceros. Perhaps you have seen pictures with the name of the unicorn under them; but you must remember that those who made them only guessed it was so, and that no person can certainly tell what it was.
___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Unicorn

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Unicorn

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Oriental Turtle Dove (Streptopelia orientalis) by Nikhil Devasar

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Turtle-Dove

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This is a very beautiful and innocent bird, and no one is mentioned more frequently in the Bible. It does not live upon the flesh of animals: so when Noah sent one out of the ark, she soon came back again, because she could find nothing to eat, and no rest for the sole of her foot. Noah put out his hand and gently took her in, and she did not go out again for a whole week. Then Noah let her fly, and the beautiful creature came back in the evening, having in her mouth a green leaf which she had plucked from an olive-tree; as though she wanted to tell him that the waters were beginning to dry up. After another week she went out, and did not come back again to the ark, because the earth was dry.

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

Dusky Turtle Dove (Streptopelia lugens) ©WikiC

The dove was often offered as a sacrifice in ancient times; and was a type of our innocent Savior, to show how he would afterwards be put to death for the guilty. The Holy Spirit once condescended to take the form of a dove, when he rested upon Christ at the time of his baptism. Our Savior speaks of the innocence of this bird when he says to his disciples,

I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

This bird has a very sweet but mournful voice; and this is referred to in the Bible. Hezekiah, one of the Jewish kings, had been very sick and expected to die; but as he lay on his bed, he prayed that God would be pleased to spare his life. God heard his prayer, and promised that he should live fifteen years longer; and soon after he became quite well. He was grateful to God for his goodness, and wrote a beautiful song of praise to be sung in the temple. Among other things he told how he felt when he lay so sick upon his bed. He says,

Like a crane or a swallow, so did I chatter; I did mourn as a dove.

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

Adamawa Turtle Dove (Streptopelia hypopyrrha) ©WikiC

The turtle-dove is a bird of passage. It appears in Judea early in the spring, when the leaves are coming out, the flowers opening, and every thing looking lovely and beautiful. This will explain some verses in the Song of Solomon,

Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away, for lo ! the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle (or turtle-dove) is heard in our land.

It remains until summer is gone; and then flies away to a warmer climate to spend the winter. It is in reference to this that David says,

Oh ! that I had wings like a dove ! for then would I flee away, and be at rest; lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness; I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest.

You will find these beautiful verses in the 55th Psalm.

Who would not wish to be like the gentle, peaceful dove?

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Doves and Pigeons

Columbidae Family – Pigeons, Doves

Nave’s Topical Bible – Dove, Turtle

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Dove

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

Matterhorn Sheep©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Sheep

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

I suppose you think you already know as much about sheep and lambs as I can tell you, and perhaps you do. Yet I dare say you never took up your Bible to see how many times they are mentioned there, or how many beautiful things are said about them. Abel, who, as you know, was the third man that lived on the earth, was a

keeper of sheep;

and there have always been a great many shepherds in the world from that time to this. Some of the men who lived in old times had a great many sheep. Job had seven thousand, which God allowed to be taken from him; but afterwards gave him twice as many-fourteen thousand. At the time when Solomon’s beautiful temple was dedicated to God, he offered a sacrifice of a hundred and twenty thousand sheep. If you want to know how many that is, try to think of a pasture with a hundred sheep in it-then think of a hundred pastures, just like it, with just as many sheep in each-then think of those hundred pastures taken twelve times over, and you will begin to understand how many there were. It is not common with us to have persons whose whole business it is to take care of sheep, but that was always the way in Bible countries. This was not done by servants, at least not always; for a great many rich men employed their children as shepherds. Rachel, who was afterwards the wife of Jacob,

kept her father’s sheep

-so did Jacob’s twelve sons-so did Moses for his father-in-law.

Sheep Fold©WikiC

Sheep Fold©WikiC

When God was about to make David king, he sent Samuel the prophet to do it by anointing him, or putting oil upon his head. David had six brothers, and Samuel did not know which of all the sons was to be king; but both he and their father Jesse supposed it would be one of the older ones, and nobody remembered even to call little David, who had been left with the sheep, until they found that he was the one whom God had chosen. David often spoke of his shepherd-life after he became a king, and even when he was an old man. You remember that most beautiful psalm of his, the twenty-third,

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want: he maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters.

That is the way they are accustomed to do in those countries: the shepherd walks on, and the sheep follow where he wishes them to go. So Christ says,

And when he (the shepherd) putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

The sheep in many countries are in danger from wolves, which prowl about and try to carry them off; so it is necessary to watch them by night as well as by day. You remember the shepherds were watching their flocks by night when the bright angels appeared to tell the glad tidings that A SAVIOR had come; and they were the first to hear that sweet song in the stillness of the night, when all around were hushed in sleep.

Good Shepherd

Good Shepherd

The sheep is so timid and gentle that it needs the protection of man, and without the care of the shepherd would often stray away and be lost, or devoured by other animals. David says,

I have gone astray like a lost sheep;

and in Isaiah we read,

All we like sheep have gone astray.

Is not this true of us-that we have gone away, far away, from Jesus our good shepherd? Perhaps, dear child, you are wandering still; but why should you thus go on, alone, and every hour in danger? Why should you, when he calls you back with his voice of kindness, and is ready to

gather you with his arms, and carry you in his bosom.

as the shepherd does his tender lambs?

___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Sheep

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Sheep

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Wood Stork at S. Lake Howard Nature Park

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Stork

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The Bible name of this bird means gentleness or affection, and the stork very well deserves such a name. It is very kind indeed to its young ones, and takes pains to find some things for them that it does not itself eat. It is said that when a house, on the top of which was a stork’s nest, once took fire, the mother bird would not fly away, because the young ones were not large or strong enough to go with her, and so they were all burned together. They are very kind to the old birds, too; and I have read that the younger storks sometimes carry the old ones on their wings when they have become tired with flying a great way; and bring food to them in their nests just as the old ones used to bring it to them. I am not quite certain that this is true, though many people have said so; but if it is, I am sure it is a beautiful example for every child, teaching him to repay his parents in every way he can for all their love and care.

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

White Stork (Ciconia ciconia) by Ian

The stork is about a yard long from its head to the end of the tail; its color is white, excepting some of the great quill feathers, which are black. Its nest is large and flat, and made mostly of sticks; the eggs are about as large as those of a goose, and a little yellowish.

It does not sing; the only noise it makes is by striking one part of its bill upon the other. While it is sleeping it stands on one leg, with its neck bent backward, and its head resting between its shoulders. The Jews were forbidden by God to use the stork for food; perhaps this was because it lives upon such animals as frogs, fishes and serpents.

The stork is a bird of passage; it spends the summer in Holland and other countries in the north of Europe, but flies to a warmer climate before cold weather comes. They seem to have a kind of agreement among themselves about starting on these long journeys; and for a fort-night before they are ready, they may be seen collecting in great numbers-then all take to their wings at once. This explains a verse in the eighty chapter of Jeremiah,

The stork in the heavens knoweth her appointed times;

that is, her times of going to a warmer climate or returning.

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

Black-necked Stork (Jabiru) (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus) by Ian

After the winter has gone, the storks fly back to their summer home, and very often take their old nests again. In Europe, these are generally made on the tops of houses or old chimneys, and the birds are so gentle and harmless that the people never disturb them, but are glad to see them come back. In some countries the roofs of the houses are flat, and the people walk and sleep on them; in these places the storks often build their nest on the flat branches of some spreading tree. In the 104th Psalm we read,

As for the stork, the fir-trees are her house.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Storks

Ciconiidae Family – Storks

Nave’s Topical Bible – Stork

 

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

Bark Scorpion©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Scorpion

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

This frightful creature is several times mentioned in the Bible. It is the largest among insects, and more dangerous than any of them. It is sometimes found in Europe, and is there about four inches long; but those of hot countries are sometimes more than a foot in length.

The scorpion is very easily made angry, and then its sting is terrible; it very often causes death, but not always. In Revelation, 9:5, 6, we read,

And their torment was as the torment of a scorpion when he striketh a man; and in those days shall men seek death and shall not find it: and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

Barb of an AZ Bark Scorpion©Wikipedia

This shows that the pain caused by their sting is very great. When a person has been stung by a scorpion, the part around the wound swells and becomes very painful, the hands and feet become cold, the skin is pale, and there is a feeling as though there were needles in every part of it. This pain often increases and rages until the person dies in great suffering.

It is well for man that scorpions destroy each other as readily as they do animals of a different kind. It is said that a hundred were once put together under a glass, where they immediately began to attack and kill each other; so that in a few days only fourteen were left alive. I have heard that if a circle of alcohol or spirit of any sort, is set on fire, and a scorpion placed within it so that he cannot get out on any side, he will sting himself so as to cause his death. I am not certain that this is true, and it would be a very cruel thing to try it even upon so dangerous an animal as the scorpion.

It seems that this creature was sometimes seen in the wilderness through which the children of Israel passed. When they had nearly reached the end of their journey, Moses reminded them to praise God for having kept them safely in so many dangers, while passing through

that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions and drought; where there was no water.

Our Savior asks,

If a son shall ask of his father an egg, will he give him a scorpion?

Scorpion - (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

Scorpion – (Centruroides vittatus)©WikiC

The scorpions in that country are about as large as an egg, and when rolled up look a little like one. Yet no father would be so wicked as to give one to his child instead of the egg which he needed for food.

Christ once said to his disciples, when they were going out to preach and to heal the diseases of the people,

Behold I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

This was a very wonderful power; and whoever should see one of those disciples tread on the terrible scorpion without being hurt, would know that Christ was surely with him to take care of him.

___
See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Scorpion

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Scorpion

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle

Thomson's Gazelles©WikiC

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Roe or Gazelle

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The roe belongs to the class of antelopes-animals very much resembling the deer; they are equally innocent and beautiful, and are often mentioned together in the Bible. The form of the antelope is, if possible, still more graceful than that of the deer, and its limbs still more delicate; but the principal difference between them is in the horns. Those of the deer grow from the bone of the forehead, and are at first small; but they are renewed every spring-the old horns falling off, and being succeeded by larger ones which grow in their place. They are at first covered with a soft, downy substance, called “the velvet;” but this soon comes off in fragments, leaving the horn white and smooth. The antelope never sheds its horns.

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)©WikiC

Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus)©WikiC

The roe or gazelle is the smallest animal of the antelope kind; it is only about two feet in height, and not more than half the size of the fallow-deer. Its eyes are remarkably soft and expressive; so that the people of those countries sometimes say of a beautiful woman,

She has the eyes of a gazelle.

Like the hart and hind, it is noted for its swiftness: so we read, in 1st Chronicles, 12 : 8, of men who were

as swift as the roes upon the mountains.

In 2d Samuel, 2 : 18, it is said,

And Asahel was as light of foot as a wild roe;

and in the Song of Solomon,

The voice of my beloved ! behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills: my beloved is like a roe or a young hart.

The gazelle is often pursued in the chase; so Solomon says,

Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter.

Thomson's Gazelle at Masai Mara, Kenya©WikiC

Thomson’s Gazelle at Masai Mara, Kenya©WikiC

They go in very large companies, sometimes as many as two or three thousand; and they are still found in great numbers on the hills of Judea, the land where our Savior lived and died.

“The wild gazelle o’er Judah’s hills
‘Exulting, still may bound,
“And drink from all the living rills
“That gush on holy ground.”
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See:

Harriet Newell Cook – Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Nave’s Topical Bible – Roe

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Roe

(Photos ©WikiC)

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Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Australian Raven (Corvus coronoides) by Ian

Scripture Alphabet of Animals: The Raven

By Harriet N. Cook (1814-1843)

The raven has always been very well known to man, and is mentioned almost at the beginning of the Bible. You remember that this was the first bird that Noah sent out of the ark to see whether the waters had begun to dry up; and that it did not go back to him again. I suppose it was very glad to be at liberty after it had been shut up more than a year; and as it lives upon the flesh of other animals, it probably found food enough from the bodies of those that had been drowned.

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus)Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

Chihuahuan Raven (Corvus cryptoleucus) Raven (Corvus corax) by Kent Nickell

It is a large bird, considerably larger than the crow; and its feathers are very black, very glossy, and very beautiful. People in ancient times seem to have liked a black color, and were especially pleased with black hair; so we read in the Song of Solomon, where one who is beautiful is described, “His locks are bushy, and black as a raven.”

It is said that the raven always attacks the eye of an animal first; seeming to prefer that to every other part. This may explain one of the verses in Proverbs,

The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

It has been the custom, in many countries, to hang those who have been guilty of great crimes on a tree or on a gallows in the open air; and there to leave the body for the birds to peck at and devour if they chose. I suppose this verse means that stubborn and disobedient children, or those who are not kind and respectful to their parents, must expect to come to some sad end; and they very often do so.

I have heard that the raven drives out its young ones very early from the nest, almost before they are able to seek their food. This may explain a verse in the Psalms,

The Lord giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry;

and another in Job,

Who provideth for the raven his food ? when his young ones cry unto God, wandering for lack of meat.

Our Savior speaks of this bird in the 12th chapter of Luke, “Consider the ravens; for they neither sow nor reap; they have neither store-house nor barn; and God feedeth them.” He was speaking to his disciples, and it was as much as to say,

If God takes care of the ravens, he will certainly take care of you; so you need not be anxious or afraid.

Brown-necked Raven of Israel

Brown-necked Raven, Israel ©WikiC

Have you read in the Bible how a good prophet’s life was once saved by ravens? The people who were living then were very wicked, and would have been glad to kill the prophet Elijah; so God told him to go into the wilderness and live there alone by the side of a small brook. Elijah went to the brook, and there was water enough for him to drink, of course, but no food to keep him from starving. You may be sure that God did not forget his servant; but you would hardly believe, if it was not in the Bible, that he would send the ravens to carry food to him. Yet so it was:

the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.

It is supposed that he was fed in this way for as much as a year. It was a long time to stay there by himself; but I do not think he was lonely or afraid, for he loved God, and felt sure that He was always near him, even in the wilderness.

(Blog formatted by Lee)

See:

Harriet Newell Cook -Scripture Alphabet of Animals

Birds of the Bible

Ravens

Corvidae Family – Crows, Jays, Ravens

Nave’s Topical Bible – Raven

Torrey’s Topical Textbook – Raven

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