DID YOU KNOW that in the days of the Roman Empire the hippopotamus once lived in the northern parts of the Mediterranean. We expect to see them in Africa, and certainly in a zoo, but not in Eastern Europe. The lion is another animal that once roamed in places far beyond the African continent Samson killed one in Israel. But, the story of their disappearance from these areas is enlightening.
As the Roman Empire grew and expanded over centuries, thousands of animals (and people) were caught and exploited for entertainment purposes. Everywhere the Romans went, arenas similar to the Coliseum were built to entertain the crowds and distract them from the harsh realities of life. The search for the unusual, the exotic and the dangerous extended to the farthest reaches of the empire including Africa exhausting the local populations of various creatures along the way.
While the Romans were very successful at changing (not always for the better) the world of their day, they could never have imagined what has become possible today. We in the modern world have become so powerful and numerous that the very actions we take to meet our needs and reach our goals are destroying habitats, causing extinctions and even putting our own long term survival at risk. When God created this world to be our home and put us in charge, He expected us to treat it with respect including all the animals not turn it into a dump site.
In my picture book HIPPO IN THE STABLE, Harriet the hippo and her friend Boon, become victims of a forced abduction by Roman soldiers. They manage to escape, but are at a loss as to how to find their way home. Harriet and Boon stumble upon the family of Jesus as they are preparing to flee to Egypt to get away from King Herod. Boon realizes that they can get back to their home the place where they belong and where they can be who they were meant to be by following Jesus.
Like Harriet and Boon, we too have an opportunity to find our way home. But first we need to realize we are lost, and then we need to realize that following Jesus is the way to get home. ONLY JESUS can enable us to find our true place and purpose in this life and in the next. Those who complete the journey will not be disappointed.
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In the sequel HIPPO IN THE GARDEN Hector (Harriets grandson) witnesses the First Easter and learns about forgiveness,after escaping from some soldiers. He had been abducted, just like his grandma.
The A4 size picture books for each titles are also available at Amazon.