The Restless Caribou

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
With temperatures going to 80° below zero, the frozen regions of Alaska, the Yukon and many other northern areas are often thought of as wastelands where nothing can live. But actually many creatures, including the caribou, make it their home.
A full-grown caribou weighs about 400 pounds and is nearly four feet tall and six feet long from nose to stubby tail. The Creator has provided them with all they need to survive in the cold, including soft, thick fur insulated by hollow hairs. They require much food, yet they live in regions where grass and leaves are not plentiful. The Lord God, of whom the Psalmist says, "He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle," has created a special food for them known as reindeer moss or lichen (pronounced ly-ken). This grows rapidly in the summer months, covering the ground and clinging to trunks and branches of trees. It is a rich food and can be eaten year-round. In deep snow where there are no trees from which the lichen can be eaten, a God-given instinct tells them to search below. The caribou have sharp hoofs that dig through snow and ice to this ever-ready meal. Most of their wakeful time in winter is spent digging and eating.
Caribou are about the most restless of all animals. They roam in large herds numbering in the thousands. These large herds devour all food wherever they stop, and they must move on each day to find more. During their migrations they travel at least 600 miles northward in the summer, where the little ones are born, and then return in the winter. Nothing stops these migrations. If mountains are too high to cross, the caribou go around them. If lakes and rivers are not frozen, they swim through them.
All caribou have antlers, and the male's main prongs, or racks, often grow five feet long. Two smaller prongs grow forward, with palm leaf endings, while the two main ones, shaped like huge cradles, grow flat over the back before curving upwards to a great height. These, together with their strong legs and sharp hoofs, make dangerous weapons. Many a wolf, thinking it could overcome a caribou, has learned too late that it is no match against a strong, healthy caribou. Yet wolves do follow herds, and if they discover a calf separated from the others, or a crippled adult, they will successfully attack and kill it. This reminds us of Satan, the evil one who, we are warned, "walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." 1 Peter 5:88Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1 Peter 5:8).
Boys and girls need the protection of their parents. A godly family will ask the Lord each day to help guide and preserve them from Satan's attacks. All the members of the family, young and old alike, need to feed continually on the Bible, the living Word, so they do not become weak, or then the enemy can harm them, too. Let us thank God for His wonderful promise: "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength... they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isa. 40:3131But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31). Are you trusting in Him?