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.

8 comments:

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Hi, Paisley. A wonderful memory. I can almost feel the velvet with you. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Nice to see you here this morning, Dawn Marie. Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend as well. Hugs!

Vonnie Davis said...

A reindeer as a wedding gift. Isn't that a hoot? Yet, given the locale, it would be a useful gift wouldn't it? Lovely post. Very informative. Merry Christmas, hon.

Jill James said...

Paisley, that is so cool. My grandson got to see reindeer at Disneyland. A little girl in the crowd asked why they weren't flying. My grandson told her, "Because Tinkerbell hasn't sprinkled them with pixie dust yet." Gotta love little kids.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thank you, Vonnie. I love some of the customs in Finland where I have had a penpal for 22 yeaars. We love hearing about their Christmas and the fact that they consider the North Pole is in their backyard. :)

Merry Christmas to you and your family, too.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I can see your grandson has the makings of a writer, Jill. What a brilliant statement about Tinkerbell and I am wondering if it might not just be true.

Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thanks for giving me some cheer today.

Josie said...

Paisley,
How cool is that? I've never thought about a reindeer as a pet.

Sounds like you had a wonderfully magical time in Sweden.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks, Josie. Sweden was definitely magical. We spent two weeks with our exchange daughter and loved getting to know her parents and experience their customs. Our time in Stockholm gave us a whole new insight to reindeer and their 'magical' powers. ;)