Title: A Green Fantasy: Ruthie Discovers The Secret To Noah’s Ecosystem
Author: Edna Chayen
Publisher: Mazo Publishers, Jerusalem
Noah’s Ark. Do we believe it really happened or was it a kind of Biblical legend, allegory or parable? The author, an anthropologist as well as a barrister and criminologist, has done an amazing amount of research into ecology, and come up with a fascinating theory and a gripping children’s story of how it really might have been.
Ruthie, aged ten, has chosen Noah’s Ark for her school project during the summer vacation, and has asked her 12-year-old brother Dan to help her. They also enlist the help of their cousin Jack, a university student who is studying Ecology. The more research they do, the more it becomes feasible as a complete, closed ecological system.
They began with the dimensions of the Ark as stated in the Bible 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide and 30 cubits high, which would make it longer than a football field. There could have been plants and trees growing inside it that, by giving out oxygen and taking up carbon dioxide, could re-oxygenate the air. Trees could also recycle the water.
Throughout the book there are drawings (by Tzipi Stern) that show, for example, a map where Noah could have built the ark, how it floated above the mountain tops, the interior of the Ark with its ramps and pools of water; the construction of the ceiling and roof, and a cross-section inside it. The attractive cover, painted by the author, depicts one of the cages.
There were so many points to consider, Ruthie decided that there had to be flowers, with small, live creatures on them – flies, ants, lady-birds, bees and butterflies. In fact, all the creatures had to be catered for and their varied requirements for heat or cold, light and shade, food and drink, to enable their survival in the Ark. Many solutions to the problems came to Ruthie in her dreams, when her sub-conscious took over from her daytime thoughts.
Her school project becomes something of an obsession, much to her parents’ concern, but in the end, everyone – including her teacher – is impressed by both her work and her vivid imagination.
This is a gripping children’s book from which even adults can consider the feasibility and possibility that Noah’s Ark may have existed just as the author has described it.