More times than I can count I have been asked how I got the idea for this story and “Why would you choose a skunk?”
Well, being that I am a children’s pastor the story of Noah and the ark was nothing new to me. I was planning a lesson for our upcoming children’s church that Sunday and the main lesson point was on obedience. Of course you have the story of Noah building this giant boat for all these animals and the amount of obedience it would take for him to not only start the task but complete it. However, I wanted to do something new, but what?
Several years ago, when I was dating my wife (several… has it been long???) we were working on something and I said the dreaded words, “I’m just not that creative.” My wife shot back, “You serve the God who created heaven and Earth out of nothing. Don’t you think if you ask Him, He will give you enough creativity for the task at hand?” Ever since she so gracefully shared that with me, I have been putting it into practice in my life, and I have seen a great difference.
After praying for an idea, a thought came to me: What about telling the story from the animal’s point of view?
I thought it brilliant and set out to develop illustration ideas for the story. I found this part to be far greater of a challenge than coming up with the idea. If only there was a children’s book that illustrated this story! With that said I quickly put the children’s lesson aside and started writing the book.
The story all hinged on choosing the perfect main character, but what animal would work? There was only one we could think of that was cute and cuddly, attracts children and yet something about him still makes all humans nervous. It was the only choice… a skunk!
I really do think people would like skunks more if it wasn’t for their very stinky spray. It makes everyone nervous. We identify with that part of the story, that everyone is mean to Simon just because he is a skunk. Simon is the object of scorn and ridicule which is why it is so hard to go see Noah; to him Noah is no different than any other human. The story shows the importance to doing what’s right even when it’s hard.