Saturday, December 24, 2011
Reindeer as Pets by Paisley Kirkpatrick
This time of year, images of Santa’s reindeer appear in movies and TV shows shaping your children’s view of where they live and how they act. Sure, Santa’s reindeer are special – they can fly – but impress your kids by telling them there are more than just the ones living at the North Pole. A herd of reindeer can reach the thousands.
Most live in the forests and tundras of Northern Asia, Scandinavia, Siberia and Greenland. In some regions of Finland, Norway and Russia reindeer are kept as pets. They pull sleighs and can run up to 40 miles per hour.
These reindeer play games, too. They participate in races by pulling kids on sleds or skis around a track.
In Norwegian communities, reindeer are given as wedding gifts. They are strong swimmers, weigh between 200 and 700 pounds and eat 12 pounds of grass, lichens and plants a day. While they don’t have the glamorous job of pulling Santa’s sleigh your children should agree reindeer are pretty cool even if they can’t talk like they do on TV.
The year that my husband and I visited our exchange daughter in Sweden, she took us to Stockholm, Sweden. This unique city has a delightful place to visit with reindeer. I will never forget standing on the railing of the fence and petting the antlers of a huge reindeer. They were in the velvet stage and so soft. It almost felt like magic even to me as an adult. Every year at this time, I can vividly remember the day I met a reindeer.
Merry Christmas to all of you.