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Noe's Floating Zoo
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By Dick Duerksen

 
© 2008 Dick Duerksen, Storyteller Maranatha Volunteers International

When God told Noah to get in the ark, he told his captain to take along an ark-full of animals and birds. "I love them and want to be sure they survive the great flood that is coming," God said.

The first group arrived two by two. Cattle, chickens, sheep, pheasants. Male and female - seven pairs of each - they gathered in the field around the ark. From early morning till very late in the evening they came. Some flew. Some walked or crawled. Together they crowded in like a boat-full of passengers preparing for a trip on a cruise ship.

Then came the unclean animals. Two by two. Male and female. Wolves and cats and giraffes, elephants and eagles and iguanas.

Crawling creatures like turtles and alligators also arrived two by two - male and female - mom and dad.

Birds flew in two by two - males and females in pairs.

Fish? No fish in the ark. They could survive in the water, but the animals, birds, and creepy crawlies needed to be rescued from the giant flood that was coming.

Imagine all the sounds! Trumpeting elephants. Honking geese. Screaming monkeys. Crowing roosters. Braying donkeys. Mooing cattle. And that's just the warm-up group! Add a few lions roaring, horses whinnying, bears growling, tigers snarling, dogs barking and wolves howling. Oh yes - and maybe even a couple coyotes yipping together. What a racket!!

(You may want to have the children try a "zoo-chorus" at this point in the story.)

Lots and lots of artists have tried to draw and paint pictures of Noah and his floating zoo. In fact. that's something I would like for you to do this afternoon after lunch. Have someone read you Genesis 7, verses 1-16, and then paint or draw a picture of Captain Noah, the ark and some of the animals.

I want to show you one artist's idea of what Noé and the ark might have looked like. This is a painting that hangs in the lobby of Florida Children's Hospital in Orlando, Florida. Since this is a large Seventh-day Adventist hospital just for children, they wanted to put something in the lobby that would remind everyone of how much God cares for his kids.

Here's the painting. It's awfully bright and funny, isn't it!

See long-bearded Noah, a pair of giraffes, a Moma and Papa elephant, cows, birds, monkeys, tigers, a rhino, and my favorite - a monkey holding an umbrella to protect Noah's list from the rain - and from the elephant's drippy trunk!

This painting is extra special because it was painted by an artist in Communist Cuba, a man who believes like you do, that God created the world and takes care of his creatures.

Now, this afternoon when you paint your own picture of Noah and the ark, remember that you're really painting a picture of God's love.


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