Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Jewel # 232 (December 6, 2015)

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“They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts,
in that day when I make
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

African Wild Dogs

“Every beast of the forest is Mine . . . and the wild beasts of the field are Mine.”
(Psalm 50:10-11)

African wild dogs, or African painted dogs, or Cape hunting dogs, live in packs of 5 to 30, which are often made up of family groups.  Almost always on the move, they stay just a few days in one spot, then move on to another place, maybe 25 miles away.  About the size of wolves, some weigh 40 pounds and can outrun just about any other animal.  They are vicious hunters; however, they only kill for food.  They themselves have few natural predators, but lions are their main enemy.  The dogs’ numbers are declining due to loss of habitat, human hunting and disease outbreaks.

For about three months each year, a pack stays near the dens where as many as 16 pups are raised with much care.  Adults and young spend much time together, playfully pushing their muzzles into each other’s mouths.  When they are ready for a pack hunt, one or two adults stay behind to guard the pups.

The pups are really cute with inquisitive faces, bright eyes, and big saucer-like ears pointing forward.  They usually have tan-coloured backs, but their sides and underparts are a blackish-brown with white patches on their throats and legs.

A dozen adults may spot a herd of impalas or other animals and set out to capture one.  Several dogs chase part of the herd while their companions go after any that may have broken away.  When one impala finally gets separated from the others, a single dog continues chasing it.  Apparently knowing that the victim will run in a wide circle, the rest of the dogs leave the impalas they have been chasing and cut across the circle to get in front of the tiring victim.  With dogs all around it, the impala soon gives up; the chase is over and the pack moves in for the kill.

The dogs always eat as much of the food as they can but do not quarrel over it as some wild animals do,  Eating their fill, they return to their dens and bring up portions for the pups and the guards that stayed with them.  Later when the pups are big enough to join these hunts and an animal is caught, the older ones let the young ones eat their fill first.

The care these wild dogs give their young helps us to think kindly of them. Many of you have parent who have not only shown you love and care in every way, but who also knew the importance of telling you of God’s love.  They have explained about the precious Saviour who gave His life to wash away the sins of all who admit to Him that they are sinners and accept Him as their Saviour.  

Have you done this?  
And have you ever thanked your parents for telling you about Him?  

Love you all,
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