One of my first nightmares, at least one that I remember, was a dream I had as a child of about eight or nine or so about various birds of prey. I don’t remember what the birds were doing, but they seemed to be all attacking each other, and I was just sort of haplessly involved as often has tended to be the case. I do not have any favorite animals among the birds of prey, but my dad named a red-tailed hawk after me that showed up within a year after I was taken from my Western Pennsylvania birthplace. I once saw that bird in action as a young teenager visiting the family farm, where the hawk was sitting on a fence post and a kitten was trying to taunt it and torment it, to which the hawk kept very restrained, everyone else (except that cat) knowing that if the hawk made a move that there would be a clear winner and it wouldn’t be the cat. Fortunately for everyone involved, the hawk was able to keep restrained despite the provocation.
Many nations have as their emblems birds of prey. The United States has a bald eagle, while many empires in Europe had some sort of hawk or eagle as well. This makes sense in many ways. For one, hawks are associated with nobility and royalty, as being a fowler was a task limited to the higher orders of society, where there was an intricate hierarchy as to which orders of society were allowed to have which birds (if any) to use for hunting. The most noble birds, judged by the culture at the time, went to the most noble people, as might be expected. The other reason, a much less praiseworthy one, is that many nations are predatory in nature, and so it would make sense that predatory nations would want to have as their images animals of the same kind of nature. We see this not only with birds but in other ways like the dragon of China or the wolf of Rome or the bear of Persia or Russia.
So, what animals would someone like me like? As many people know (even more people now that it was announced to hundreds at the Feast of Tabernacles this year, even to those who had not heard it or read it before), my favorite animal is the skunk . The picture for my blog is one of Sonic the Hedgehog, another animal of the kind that I am fond of. What all of the animals I really like share in common is that none of them are particularly large or hostile. They are all fairly small animals that tend to enjoy the forest, shun direct sunlight, and be curious animals not inclined to bother others but capable of self-defense. All too often in this world even those beings that have no aggressive instincts still find it necessary to be alert and vigilant in a hostile and threatening world. God willing, that aspect of this present evil age can be changed, for we all have scars and wounds from our time here. And unlike the birds, we simply cannot fly away from it all, for it follows us wherever we go.
 See, for example: