Over thirty species of mongooses are found in the jungles of southern Asia and Africa, but many have been introduced into other parts of the world. The common mongoose is about 16 inches long and has stiff yellowish-gray hair that is grizzled with brown and black. Its small ears are set behind sharp eyes on a pointed head and nose. Some species are night hunters while others feed in the morning and evening and rest during the heat of the day. Though they are fierce fighters, they can be easily tamed. These curious animals are attracted to shiny or brightly colored objects and, like pack rats, place many such things in their nests.
Although not immune to poison, they don't hesitate to attack vicious snakes. Much like the roadrunner bird, a mongoose will slowly circle around a snake, then makes a swift attack. The snake strikes back, but the attacker dodges easily and tempts it again and again. Each time the snake becomes more tired, and finally the mongoose kills it. The Indian and gray mongooses are often tamed and used by exhibitors on street corners in India to stage fights with deadly cobras. The mongoose is always victorious, and the owner makes a living with the coins tossed to him for his pet's performances.
The diet of these animals includes rats, mice and other small animals, birds, fruit, nuts and insects. Some also eat crabs and other shellfish. The banded mongoose, which is two feet long from its nose to the tip of its tail and has thick brown and tan fur, is one of these. After catching a shellfish, it stands on its hind legs and hurls its catch to the ground, breaking the shell so it can get at the meat. This species also has an unusual way of eating large eggs. Standing with a rock behind it and holding the egg in its front paws, it tosses the egg backward between its hind legs, smashing it against the rock, then turns around to eat it!
This little animal is another example of the pleasure the Creator has in the variety of living creatures He has brought into being. Those who love the Lord God can share His pleasure by recognizing that He created all things and by believing His Word, the Bible, which is the only source of all that is true.
Reading the Bible every day helps us to understand the wonders of God's ways and to see why He tells us, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil" (Jeremiah 29:11). Have you thanked Him for His thoughts of peace and love toward you?
Copied with permission from Messages of God's Love. More articles in The Wonders of God's Creation (Volume 1-4) by Sidney R. Gill, also published by Bible Truth Publishers, Addison, IL 60101.
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