Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Jewel # 192 (Oct. 21, 2014)

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“They shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts,
in that day when I make up MY JEWELS.”
(Malachi 3:17)

To my dear grandchildren,

How the Aye-Aye Got its Name

“The eyes of all wait upon Thee; 
and Thou givest them their food in due season.”
(Psalm 145:15)

The little squirrel-like animal called the aye-aye is about 15 inches long plus a two foot long tail.  It is found mainly on the island of Madagascar, off the coast of southeast Africa, and this year (2014) it has been listed as an endangered species.  Its distinctive cry of “I-I” caused the natives to make that its name, which we now spell “aye-aye” in English.  It is a member of the lemur family.

A nighttime feeder, it is rarely seen because it spends most of the daylight hours curled up in a ball-shaped nest in the hidden fork of a large tree.  Sometimes it grooms itself with its long fingers during the day.

Its appearance is rather unusual.  It has a pale-brown smooth face and white chin, sharp red eyes and alert black ears.  The rest of its body is covered with long, silky, rust coloured or grayish-black hair.  Its head is broad at the top, but tapers to a narrow point at its small mouth and chin.  Because of its rather spooky-looking eyes, the natives have long thought that it has an evil sprit, and they avoid touching it.  However, that is only superstition; the aye-aye will not harm anyone.

An interesting feature is the long narrow third finger of each front paw.  Armed with a long, sharp nail and hinged in the middle, this finger is used for catching much of the aye-aye’s food.

Its sensitive ears pick up the sound of an almost-silent grub or insect inside a tree trunk.  With its strong teeth it immediately chews a hole in the wood.  Then this long finger is used to pull the grub out of its tunnel.  It quickly eats the grub and reaches in again and again, until no more grubs remain.  These slender fingers are also helpful in removing bark to expose tidbits, as well as scooping out the insides of fallen coconuts, and they are even used as a toothpick!  (Aye-ayes’ teeth never stop growing.) The aye-aye’s  food is not just insects.  It also likes fruit and their juices, often dangling by its legs from the branches to get at ripe, juicy treats, like mangos, sugar cane, lychees and eggs from villages and plantations.

The aye-aye is another example of the Creator’s marvellous works, some of which are never seen by human eyes, but which, as our opening verse tells us, are always under His watchful care, whether in the darkness of night or light of day.

People sometimes think their activities are hidden from God, but the Bible tells us: “His eyes are upon the ways of man, and He sees all his goings” (Job 34:21).  True happiness is only found in knowing the Lord Jesus as our Saviour and Friend and trusting in Him every day for every event of our lives.

Love you all,
Grandpa        

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