Mr. Nature here–with a prehistoric animal that lasted into historic times: the pygmy mammoth of Wrangel Island. It was still alive when the Egyptians were building the pyramids.
In all respects except size it was a regular woolly mammoth. Wrangel Island is in the Arctic Ocean, just off Siberia. Today it’s frozen. But a few thousand years ago, mammoths lived there. The ground today is littered with tusks and bones.
Islands are funny. Some animals that are small on the mainland grow very large if they’re on an island for many generations. And some that are large on the mainland grow small if they’re confined to an island. Hence the pygmy elephants and hippos, and giant dormice, of various Mediterranean islands.
Think of a mammoth the size of a pony. And marvel at the work of God’s hands.
Sometimes writing about current events just wears me out. For refreshment, I turn to God’s handiwork.
Behold the woolly mammoth, as painted by the great Charles R. Knight. This was the first prehistoric animal I fell in love with. I used to dream about them. A truck would sound its horn at night, out on Route 1, and I would think it was a mammoth calling to the other mammoths.
And I don’t know why, but somehow I conceived the notion that my Aunt Betty, the nun, had the ability to obtain for me a mammoth of my own, and I used to pester her about it. Give me a break, I think I was only five years old. Poor Aunt Betty. She made me a little toy mammoth out of some kind of fur. Well, she tried. If I still had that toy, it would be among my treasures. But not as great a treasure as she herself would be.
When God restores His whole creation, I’m sure there will be mammoths once again. And we will enjoy them with our loved ones.
Once again, Mark Dice takes to the street to ask people some absurd questions and get some absurd answers. Here we have assorted passersby condemning President Trump’s sons for hunting and shooting a triceratops, pterodactyl, woolly mammoth, sabertooth tiger…
Bear in mind that every one of these respondents is the product of the costliest, most technology-intensive, most extravagantly praised education system in all of world history. And despite the popularity of prehistoric animals in our consumer culture–toys, movies, TV specials, you name it–there seems to be a goodly chunk of the public that is unaware that these creatures ceased to exist a very, very long time ago.
Yes, I know it’s the easiest thing in the world for Mark Dice to interview a whole lot of people and then just select the responses that he wants to show us.
Like, there was this top-secret mission, see, and these Delta Force guys, they had to go into Siberia and the Russians, they didn’t know because it was secret, man, secret! And then the Delta Force guys, they seen these prehistoric woolly mammoths and shot this video, and then the video of this top-secret mission, it winds up on youtube…
But really–don’t I wish! Oh, I’d love to see a mammoth!
(Well, dude, you shoulda joined Delta Force, man…!)
The Original Sin was to disobey God in order, as the Serpent put it, to “be as gods” (Genesis 3:5). That sin is very much with us today.
Scientists have announced a plan to bring back the extinct woolly mammoth by messing about with mammoth DNA and Asian elephant DNA, cutting and pasting and “editing genes” to create a mammoth embryo ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/16/woolly-mammoth-resurrection-scientists ). Then they can re-introduce a population of mammoths to the Siberian tundra to combat global warming! Oh–and as an added benefit, they predict these techniques can soon be refined so as to “reverse aging” in human beings.
As much as I would love to see a woolly mammoth, what I would be seeing here would not actually be a mammoth, but rather an elephant that’s been tampered with to make it look like a mammoth–a counterfeit.
Does anyone honestly expect this to work out as advertised? Do a lot of us need to see Jurassic Park again?
Somehow reading stuff like this makes me feel like I’m getting stupider, not smarter.
Come, Lord Jesus, come–and save us from the folly of our worldly wisdom.
To be a writer, you have to be a reader first. And don’t stop reading, either.
The books that capture your imagination early in life will always be with you. What you want to read about will shape what you choose to write about.
All About Strange Beasts of the Past flicked my imagination switch. I was only seven years old when it came out, and nine or ten years old when I read it. Roy Chapman Andrews, the explorer who first found dinosaur eggs in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia, wrote several of these Allabout Books. His All About Dinosaurs I read over and over again until it fell apart. Strange Beasts I kept checking out of the library.
Andrews had a gift for making prehistoric worlds come alive. In practical terms, he used this gift whenever he had to schmooze J.P. Morgan into funding another expedition. When he wrote for children–well, as far as I was concerned, it was just like being there.
Everybody knows about dinosaurs, but I got really into prehistoric mammals, especially the gigantic hairy ones. Strange Beasts introduced me to creatures that have inhabited my dreams ever since; some of them now inhabit my own Bell Mountain books. Andrews’ “Beast of Baluchistan” appears in The Thunder King just in time to rescue the city of Obann from being sacked by the Heathen host. The saber-toothed cat, seen on the cover of Strange Beasts, features in the climax of The Last Banquet. The saber-tooth’s prey, the giant ground sloth, makes cameo appearances in several of my books. I haven’t yet found a place for the spectacular “Shovel-tusked Mastodon” of Strange Beasts, but I expect I will.
Books were a big deal in our house. My mother was a reader, and filled several large bookshelves with her favorites. I took after her in that department: I just could never get my fill of stories! History and science, in my view, also counted as stories.
But nothing could ever top the creatures I met in Roy Chapman Andrews’ books.
P.S.: Andrews was widely believed to have been the real-life model for Indiana Jones. To that I must say “Pshaw!” Andrews’ adventures were real.
P.P.S.: For some reason which I can’t remember, as a very young child, I formed the expectation that my Aunt Betty, a nun, would somehow provide me, someday, with my own woolly mammoth. Please don’t ask me to explain this. She did try–gave me a vaguely mammoth-shaped little furry something which, I am sorry to say, did not quite live up to my expectations. But she did try, and for that she gets full marks.