A shrew is extremely small. The shrew is similar in appearance to a mouse but with a longer nose and smaller eyes. The shrew is not a rodent but a mole like mammal. Shrews eat more food for their size than any other animal. Their metabolism is tremendously fast causing them to burn off energy which they need to replenish all day long. They do this by eating almost continually.
Hazel is a shrew. Her brother is Phillip and her sisters are: Charlotte and Molly. They live on a farm in North America. The farmer who owns the land doesn’t like mice because they eat grains and wood. The farmer likes to keep shrews around because they eat insects and worms that can hurt or destroy crops. It's difficult for the farmer to train cats to kill only mice and not shrews. Cats think shrews look and smell similar to mice.
Hazel and her siblings stay clear of the cats and the mice. This is difficult for them because of their eyesight. Shrews have poor eyesight and use their ears and noses to detect objects around them. Most of the time, they can smell the cat early enough to get away.
The mom of the four young shrews told them, “The farmer wants his crops protected from bugs and dangerous worms. It’s our business to do a good undertaking of eating all of the bugs. One of the cats likes us and can determine that we are not the bad guys, the mice. She has agreed to protect us from the other cats and take us for rides if we do our duty of eliminating the bugs from the crops.”
The sibling got busy eating bugs and bad worms. Hazel, Phillip, and Molly worked very hard eating and searching for insects. Charlotte ate, but not as fast and dependable as the other three. She took breaks often and got distracted from her task until she became too hungry, then she ate.
Mom said, “Molly, Phillip, and Hazel, you have eaten a great deal these past few days and our cat friend has agreed to take us on a ride.”
The four shrews raced over to the cat. Mom said, “Not you, Charlotte. You have not done your best to protect the fields of insects and worms. I’ve watched you and I’m disappointed that you haven't worked to your full potential. You daydream and look around you instead of working. I can tell the only time you eat is when you are extra hungry. You won’t grow big and strong if you don’t eat more. This is your job and you are doing the minimum you can to get by.”
Charlotte said, “But mom.”
“No butts about it. You knew what was expected and you didn’t show any inclination to do your best. I know you can do better if you want to. I want you to learn to do your best.”
Charlotte sat next to the wall as she watched her sibling and mom climb up on the cat’s back.
The cat said, “Hang on tight. I don’t want to lose the best working shrews I’ve ever known.”
The cat ran around the yard. She took short leaps to make the ride more fun for the shrews. Charlotte heard their giggling. Charlotte was a little sad because she couldn’t go on the ride.
The next day as soon as the sun started its ascent, the shrew got busy. They ate and dug for more bugs. Charlotte still didn’t work hard. Her mom didn’t know what to do about her lack of attentiveness to her duty.
Each day Charlotte ate less and played around instead of working. The cat took the others for rides. Still, Charlotte didn’t seem to care.
“Why don’t you eat a lot bugs, Charlotte?” asked her mom.
“I eat when I’m hungry. I like to look and smell at the plants. The sun feels good on my fur. I hear and smell other critters and guess where they may be going and doing.”
“I see, but don’t you want to ride on the cat?”
“Not as much as I like to take my time during the day.”
One morning a few weeks later, Charlotte didn’t get up. Her mom went to see what was wrong. “Charlotte, it’s time to get to work.”
Charlotte didn’t respond. Mom knew something was terribly wrong with her. She shook her. Charlotte barely opened her eyes. Her mom ran to get a bug for Charlotte to eat.
Charlotte barely opened her mouth. Her mom forced small bites into Charlotte’s mouth. She ate a small portion. Her mom forced more food into her mouth throughout the next few days.
Finally, Charlotte got strong enough to sit up. Soon, she walked around. Charlotte went back to work the next week. It had been a close call.
“Charlotte, we thought you were going to die. You made yourself sick by not eating enough. Your daydreaming took priority to working and eating.”
“I’m sorry mom. I promise to do a better job for you.”
“Don’t do it for me do it for yourself. We are happy shrews when we are working and eating. You’ll feel better and have a happier life if you work hard and eat a lot.”
Charlotte was good on her word. She worked harder than she ever did in the past. She took short breaks and found plump bugs to eat.
One day, the cat came to Charlotte, “I want to give you a ride because you have been working so hard these past few weeks. I know you are still weak, so I’ll walk slow. Climb on up.”
Charlotte grinned as she carefully climbed the cat. She held on tight as the cat took her around the yard. At the end of the ride, she slid off. “Thanks for taking me on the ride. I didn’t realize how fun it would be.”
“Next time you will be stronger and we can go faster. Thanks for doing your job. The farmer is happy about your work.”
Charlotte learned working was better than being lazy. She found out working felt good and it made her healthy at the same time. How are you at working? Do you do your best? Your work is school work, chores, and helping your parents or siblings on projects. Ask your parents what your work is so you can do the best job you can.
Memorize one or more of the following:
I Corinthians 4:12 And we labor, working with our own hands.
Colossians 3:23 And whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
1Thessalonians 4:11c…to work with your own hands…
2 Thessalonians 3:10b If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated.