Tuesday, November 21, 2006


It happened in the Netherlands, but it was one of those stories that gripped the hearts of animal lovers and went international. On October 31, more than 100 horses were trapped on a small patch of land by rising seawater that flooded a pasture beyond the dikes. Within three days, there were eighteen deaths by drowning and one from exposure.

Firemen ferried about 20 horses, including the smallest foals, to dry land in small boats and the Dutch Army arrived to help, but as the water level fell, their pontoon boats were grounded. Helicopters could not be used. The noise might frighten the horses and cause more to drown. Rescuers carried water, hay and blankets to the cold, wet horses.

Three days later the water level had dropped to where the horses could reach land on their on, but it was feared some could become snagged on submerged barbed wire. Animal welfare officers and firemen staked out a safe route through the brackish water. Six guide horses with riders rode out to join the herd. Firemen in a chain of small boats waited along the route. Then four women on horseback from the local Calvary Club rode out to lead the herd home.

Watching the video of this rescue brings goose bumps or tears, depending on the viewer’s response. But it is impressive to watch the horses enter the water and begin the 650 yard walk to dry land. In places, they were neck-deep, in some areas they had to swim. When they entered shallower water, they pranced. As they emerged from the water, they broke into a gallop.

There is something gripping about a rescue. People sit glued to the television set to watch the rescue of a child from a well, a man from atop a crane on a burning high rise, or passengers from a plane that crashed into the ocean. Passers-by stop to watch a puppy or a kitten being rescued from a storm drain.

As I watched the horse rescue video for the second or third time, I thought of how the most dramatic rescue of all generally occurs quietly, without fanfare. A man stands in the brackish waters of his own sin, unable to swim or wade around the unseen obstacles to safety and save himself. There is only one who can lead him to safety – the Lord Jesus.

The video of the horse rescue can be viewed here . The story of Christ, the one who rescues men, can be found in the pages of the Holy Bible. It too can give you goose-bumps or bring you to tears, depending on the reader’s response.


1 comment:

horse rescue said...

They have really done a good job. Every year, hundreds and thousands of horses are killed, because of the negligence of their owners. We must take some vital steps to stop horse slaughter.