To my dear grandchildren,
The Swift Cheetah
"Every beast of the forest is Mine . . . and
the wild beasts of the field are Mine."
The cheetah, a member of the cat family, lives on the plains of Africa and Asia and is the fastest animal known for running short distances. When hunting, it takes advantage of all available cover and crawls on the ground to get as close as possible to its prey. Then, with tail twitching, it suddenly springs up and runs with lighting speed, 70 to 75 miles per hour (112 to 120 km/h, scarcely touching the ground between its 10-foot leaps. It can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in three seconds, enabling it to catch its prey almost immediately.
The Creator has provided the cheetah with large nostrils and lungs to draw in great quantities of air while running so fast. However, it cannot run at top speed for very long, and if it fails to capture its prey promptly, it must give up and rest. Even if it succeeds, it needs to rest for a while, breathing deeply before eating.
This beautiful animal has a small head with large, yellow-green eyes and dark tear markings running from the inner corners of its eyes. Its fur is yellowish with black spots over all its body except the throat. Its long, lean body measures about 3 feet high at the shoulders and about 5 feet long. Its long, striped tail adds another 2 1/2 feet. Did you know that cheetah's use their tails to steer while running
The cheetah's natural home is in open grasslands. Given excellent eyesight, it spots antelopes, elands and other animals from a tree branch, bare hilltops or even a termite mound. Another special, God-given feature enables the cheetah to go several days without water.
Female cheetahs may have three or more cubs a year. The little ones are playful, stalking and pawing each other. In the hot sun they huddle close to their mother for protection from the heat and for safety from enemies. They are nursed for several months and then trained to hunt. Cubs leave their mother when they are between 13 and 20 months old. A cheetah's life span is up to 12 years in the wild and 20 years in captivity.
Again we are reminded, as in our opening Bible verse, that the One who can rightfully claim every beast of the forest and field as His does not neglect these creatures. Through their whole lifetime they are under His watchful care, and He can see them just as He can see each of us even on the darkest night.
Sin that came into the world is responsible for animals such as the cheetah killing others. But the time is coming when there will be peace again among all the beasts. At that time those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ now as their Saviour will be with Him in heaven, looking down on that peaceful scene. Will you be there?
Love you all,