Observing the polar bear at the Assiniboine Park Zoo
with our grandchildren.
In September I begin teaching art. I’m very excited about our theme this year. It is all about “animals”, not only how to render them in our art but also exploring the role they have symbolically in our own art. For this first class I will be showing a very interesting power point of artists both past and present, showing how animals have been represented in their art and why. Along with this I have written an article below on what I wish to communicate to my class regarding the Biblical understanding of why God created animals to live with us in the first place. Probably will present it in a discussion format rather than a speech. Hope you like it.
WHY GOD MADE ANIMALS.
I grew up on a small farm 14 miles north of Borden Saskatchewan located on the Yellowhead highway. I grew up with animals. We had the regular preverbal farm animals including, cows, bulls, horses, pigs and chickens. Then there were the wild animals we enjoyed such as rabbits, mice and the occasional garter snake, wolf or fox. Then there were the special animals, our pets. We always had a good number of cats keeping the farm clear of mice and other pesky rodents. But most special of all there was my best friend Ricky, my all-time favorite pal on the farm
Ricky was the dog every boy should have, loving, playful, and eager to please. He was my daily companion. We roamed the farm and beyond together exploring holes in the ground, bugs, trails just hanging out for hours on end. He taught me more about animals than anyone.
Ricky was smart. He learned to chase the cows from the back, not the front. The cows will never go home if a dog keeps nipping at them from the front. He know how to communicate with me. His body language, his yelps, his nuzzeling, his short runs in certain directions, stopping and looking back, whimpers, etc. Because of all the time we spent together I soon knew most of what he was thinking.
He taught me about innocence and the fun that was. He in his wisdom knew some things as he’d been trained but beyond that, like morally, he was innocent. That was my area and I was supposed to make good the right choices there. Like we were not supposed to go to far from the yard, well, I (we) did not pay much attention to that. That's a story for another time.
Even though I was young I appreciated and respected animals. I lived close and personal with most of the farm animals. I rode the calves, briefly! I tried riding pigs, but only got muddy for my efforts. I rode my clydesdale horse 2.5 miles to school beginning in the second grade. But I loved Ricky. He was always happy to be with me. I knew he felt pain for example like I did. He got tired like I did, he got hot on summer days like I did, he experienced joy like I did. We were buddies. Sometimes I followed him, sometimes he followed me.
So in my respect for him I learned to respect all the animals, on the farm and beyond. He helped me understand that all animals were special. I did not like to hurt animals. We had a 22 my dad used when we butchered pigs, but I decided I would never shoot animals, I would only shoot at targets like stuff in the junk heap off the yard. Also, I would put cats into the water trough because I thought they needed to know how to swim, but I was careful to take them out before they got tired. When I was milking the cows, Ricky would sit expectantly waiting for me to squirt milk at him, despite my dad's warnings I usually could not help myself and squirted milk at him giggling as he frantically air licked trying to get as much of the milk as he could.
When I grew up and learned what the Bible taught about animals, it just all made sense based on my experience with my friend and side-kick, Ricky.
(To be Continued)
It is summed up in a single word-- Man”
George Orwell, Animal Farm