Thursday, July 18, 2013

Jewel # 143 (July 18, 2013)

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"And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, 
in that day when I make up MY JEWELS."
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

The Scarce Snow Leopard

"Thou, even Thou, art Lord alone; Thou has made . . .
the earth, and all things that are therein."
(Nehemiah 9:6)

The snow leopard is a member of the leopard family and is one of the world's most beautiful animals.  When fully grown, this animal will be 30 inches tall at shoulder height and 6 to 6 1/2 and feet long, including its two-foot-long tail.  Its weight will be from 100 to 150 pounds.  

Since it often lives two miles or more high on the cold mountain ranges of central Asia, the Creator has given it a coat much heavier than that of the leopards of warmer climates.  Snow leopards' tails are furry, long and flexible.  This helps them to maintain their balance, which is very important in the rocky terrain where they live.

Its white fur is overlaid with pale gray and leopard like brown spots over most of its body, but the fur remains plain white on the chin, chest and  belly.  Each of its yellow eyes is circled with a ribbon of dark brown fur.  With its small ears and a face like that of a house cat, it is a very beautiful creature.  Just like when your pet cat is calm and relaxed, the snow leopard's sharp claws are not visible, but when its paw reaches out to strike, the claws become fierce weapons, ready for action.  

Snow leopards cannot roar, but they can make hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing sounds.

Since the snow leopard blends in so well with its surroundings, mountain climbers might pass near one sitting on its haunches and quietly watching them, and be entirely unaware of its presence.  This leopard's food is made up of antelope, deer, mountain goats, smaller animals, pheasants and other birds.  When these are not available, the snow leopard may raid a farmyard for sheep and calves, but it has never been known to attack people.

A mother trains her kittens to catch prey by lying on the ground and gently switching her tail from side to side.  The kittens try to pounce on it, but just as they pounce she gives it a quick flick and they are left empty-handed.  Eventually their reflexes become sharper, and they are able to use this needed skill when hunting for food. 

These lovely animals instinctively hide among the rocks and snow where the colouring of their fur conceals them so well.  But they are not hidden from their Creator; He is well aware of them at all times, as the Bible verse tells us: "He looks to the end of the earth, and sees under the whole heaven" (Job 28:24).  In other parts of the Bible, we also read that He is the provider and protector of all His creatures.

Perhaps you are familiar with another verse that tells us, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good" (Proverbs 15:3).  What do His eyes see in you?   

Love you all,
Grandpa

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