Matteo and the Marmots

  I thought this was a Beautiful story of Love , Friendship and Compassion. 

Happy Valentines Day Everyone! 


Thank you to Grampa Ray for sending me this beautiful story.


Matteo and the Marmots
The marmots and me: The school boy, 8, who has struck up a remarkable friendship with a
colony of alpine animals. Matteo Walch has struck up a friendship with a group of marmots
in the Austrian Alps.
matteo 1
They are notoriously shy around humans, beating their tails and chattering their teeth to try to warn us off
before emitting loud whistles to tell other members of their colony to flee.
But when these alpine marmots see Matteo Walch, they scuttle to his side and show him nothing
but affection. The eight-year-old built up a remarkable relationship with the creatures since
first being taken to see them by his nature-loving family four years ago.

The family return to visit the colony in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps for two weeks every year. Matteo’s father, Michaela, said: ‘Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now.

‘He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that. ‘We go there every year now for two weeks – it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.’

Marmots stand at around 18cm (about 7 inches from ground to top of the back) tall and reach up to 50cm (about 20 in.) in length. Bizarrely, the animals are heavier in the autumn,
when they can weigh up to 8kg (17.64 lb), in comparison to 3kg(6.614 lb) in the spring months.
mattao 2

Furry friends; The school boy from Innsbruck first met the clan of marmots four years ago
on a family holiday and has returned every year since…

matteo 3

Unlikely pair: The normally shy marmots show Matteo nothing but affection when he visits them at Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria.Michaela, a schoolteacher from Innsbruck, Austria, has uniquely captured the unique bond between Matteo and his marmot friends throughout the past four years.
He said: ‘I could spend hours watching animals – it gives me a connection with nature and its life forms. ‘It’s great that I have been able to document the marmot’s natural behaviour around Matteo, without making them afraid of me and my equipment.
‘I wanted to capture the animals exactly the way I see them – the way they behave among each other, in harmony with their surroundings.
matao 4

A member of the clan: The marmots gather around Matteo when he arrives and let him feed them and play with them despite normally running away from humans.
matao 5
 Matteo and his family spend two weeks every year in the Alps visiting his marmot friends.
matto 6
Nose to nose: A marmot greets eight-year-old Matteo on the slopes of the Austrian Alps.It is clear from the pictures that Matteo and the marmots are totally comfortable in each other’s company.
Michaela, 46, said: ‘The picture of a curious animal approaching me is a thousand times more beautiful than the picture of any animal looking at me in fear before it takes flight.
‘This is how I try to picture the proudest, more beautiful and also the funniest moments, giving others the opportunity to enjoy the miraculous world of animals.’
matteo 7
Jealous: One marmot is so keen to get his attention that it has climbed up into Matteo’s lap for a cuddle. 
LOVE is such a precious thing.
It’s fragile, and it’s rare.
It damages so easily,
So handle it with care.
It’s free to those who seek it.
There’s enough for all to share.
The more that LOVE is given out,
The more there is to spare

Laugh loudly, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly