Originating in the Ancient world, a bestiary is a compendium of beasts. The natural history and illustration of each creature was usually accompanied by a moral lesson, reflecting the belief that every living thing has its own spiritually symbolic meaning.

The objective of this particular bestiary is to package and gift the ideologies and power words of specific animals to children who have been or are in danger of becoming victims of trafficking.

Every year, nearly 2 million children are exploited in the global commercial sex trade (UNICEF). In 2009, the head of India’s Central Bureau of Investigation estimated that there are more than 1 million children in the commercial sexual exploitation industry in that country alone. These staggering numbers do not even begin to address other forms of trafficking and forced labor.

This Crayola crayon bestiary exists in the space we normally reserve to honor a child’s imagination and perspective of the world: the refrigerator gallery. My hope and prayer is that every child affected by human trafficking will somehow, someday, have their narrative restored and their imagination and perspective cherished.

2014; Crayola crayons, markers