Monday, June 05, 2017

Jewel # 286 (June 4, 2017)

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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 Pretty Ocelot

“The Lord is good to all: and His tender mercies
are over all His works.”
(Psalm 145:9)

Ocelots, which are about twice the size of house cats, are considered by many to be the most beautiful of the four-footed animals.  They have pretty cat faces with long, white whiskers and small, upright ears pointing forward.  Most are whitish or a tawny yellow, but the fur may also be reddish or smoky gray.

Whatever their colour, they are always spotted with beautiful black dots, varying in size, on their legs and feet and larger shell-shaped spots on the rest of their bodies.  No two ocelots are ever marked the same way.  If caught when young, an ocelot can be tamed and makes an excellent pet.

These are tropical animals and are at home in the marshy areas or riverbeds of the humid jungles of Central America and south to Paraguay in South America.  They can also be found in the thick brush of southeastern Arizona and southern Texas.

Ocelots spend most of their lives on the ground but are excellent climbers.  Active at night, they prowl about the underbrush, hunting for food.  To avoid bright sun light, most ocelots curl up inside a hollow tree, in dark caves or in the shade of heavy thickets during daylight hours.  Wherever possible, they make their homes in trees and walk silently along the branches surrounding them.

In some jungle areas, their favourite food is monkey meat.  They will sometimes playa dead to attract a monkey, then suddenly pounce on it.  If monkeys are not available, they annoy farmers by going after lambs, young pigs or rabbits, but their diet also includes rats, mice, birds, snakes and lizards.  Rather than chase their victims, they will drop on them from a tree branch or silently stalk them through the woods or brush.

In past years, the beautiful furs of these animals have been their downfall, as hunters have trapped and killed them in great numbers.  This is now against the law, although there are poachers who disregard this fact and kill them anyway.

The spotted coats of ocelots are an indication of the Creator’s care over them, providing effective camouflage in the light and shadows of their home areas.  They, of course, know nothing of the Creator’s care, but as the Bible verse at the beginning of this article indicates, there is no creature, no matter how small or how large, how beautiful or how plain, that is not an object of His mercies and kindness.

But there is another Bible verse that every boy and girl, as well as every grown-up, may claim: “How precious also are Thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!” (Psalm 139:17).  Have you thanked Him for those precious thoughts?

Love you all - Grandpa     

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