Look for Me Under the Rainbow – Bernard Jan
Often in nature films and documentaries, we get an appreciation of how precarious life can be for wild animals, plus we are all potentially in the food chain for some other animal. If you’ve ever seen the Orca whale tossing a seal in the air repeatedly, it is a brutal and disturbing scene, yet it is nature. Us humans are meant to be more controlled and ‘humane’ about how we manage our food sources and ancient legends cry out to us to respect the animals we kill and ensure that having done so we make as much use of the carcass as possible so as not to be careless and immoderate. We are, however, cruel, reckless and wasteful in how we hunt for food and clothing, and specifically how we fish our oceans discarding rubbish indifferently to the damage it causes.
Bernard Jan has provided us with a glimpse into 2 perspectives of life for the seal populations that migrate around Greenland. Firstly through the eyes of Danny a young seal pup and his adopted younger brother Jon, and then through the eyes of a Rainbow Warrior volunteer Helen. Both parties are told of legends and tales that relate in some respect to a Rainbow, how we should show respect to all living things, and how in our final moments we follow the rainbow to our resting place.
While Danny and Jon are taught and instructed by their mother they play happily but always aware of the threats from polar bears and man. Which one is more dangerous, which one is more deadly, and which one is more destructive? The young seals will experience a lot in their lifetimes as they start the migration back towards Greenland. Helen, while she understands the value and commitment the Rainbow warriors make, she can’t come to terms witnessing the abject waste of life and deleterious attitude of hunters and irresponsible fishermen. Helen and Danny’s paths eventually cross and it is a heart-breaking scene.
The story is very well told and it is very clear before reading the authors bio that he has a vocational connection to animal preservation. Through the medium of this book and other communication channels, Bernard is also a strong advocate for wildlife protection and his love for animals is clearly apparent.