God's Little Critters

Discover
| |

Now is the perfect time to see God’s little critters. They’re the flappers and flyers, creepers and crawlers of summer. Go outside and they’ll buzz your face, slither across your path, or serenade you from a nearby bush.

Not many people love these many-legged mini-beasts. At best, people ignore them. Hardly anyone thinks to call them God’s little critters.

Yet that’s exactly what they are. God made each of these creepy crawlies for a certain role in Creation. And God gave each critter exactly what it needs for that role. Read on for a tiny idea of what’s in this wonderful world of God’s little critters.

Who’s Henry

Meet Henry, but don’t become too friendly. He’s full of germs, so he’s not good for you. But he is good for Creation. He and his kin clean up icky messes. Admire Henry from a distance and try to guess who he is.

Henry is made for life in garbage. He carries millions of germs inside and out, but he’s immune to them, so he doesn’t get sick. His mouth, made for sponging up icky wet messes, is like a tiny sponge on a straw. He’s got taste buds on his feet, so he knows when he lands on good garbage. His eyes bulge out from his head, so he can see danger coming from any angle, even when he’s buried in garbage. Some insects live for several months, but Henry lives only a few weeks.

Garbage doesn’t last much longer than that.

You’ll never find Henry alone on garbage. That’s because when he finds icky messes, he calls his relatives with a chemical message “Good garbage here!” They all come to share the feast. Just like Henry, they’re perfect for cleaning up garbage.

Thank Henry and his kin for the clean-up jobs, then thank the Creator for making houseflies!

See for Yourself

To see God’s little critters up close:

1. Use a magnifying glass.

2. Sit absolutely still and silent under a tree. After a few minutes they will begin to move.

3. Put a white cloth under a bush and shake the bush. They should fall out of their hiding places onto your cloth.

Bugs Talk

Bugs talk to each other. They say lots of things. Most of God’s little critters can clearly make their wants and wishes known.

Lots of bugs, like ants, use chemical mixtures to “talk.” Common ant quotes: “The queen is OK.” “Follow me to food” “Danger!” “I’m from your colony.” You can watch ants talk. They rub the ground or each other to “speak” with chemicals.

Honey bees “dance” to direct workers to a good nectar source. Jumping spiders signal with their front legs to tell other jumpers if they’re friend or foe. Dragonflies use body signals to defend territories.

Fireflies flash to attract mates. Flashes are long, medium, or short. There are also upward, level, and downward flashes. Different fireflies use different flash combinations to make their special signals.

Male crickets sing for a mate. Different species have different “songs.” Females are “deaf” to the song of another cricket species. You can easily hear the different “songs” if you sit outside quietly on a warm summer evening.

Not the Same

Daddy longlegs and spiders are not the same. God made them different from each other and gave them different jobs in Creation.

Spiders keep bugs in check, and daddy longlegs clean up litter. Spiders eat bugs and other live critters. Daddy longlegs eat dead leaves, rotten berries, and things like that.

Spiders need to see their prey move. Their eyes are set in rows and made to see motion. Daddy longlegs only need to see danger coming, so they have only two weak eyes on top of their bodies.

Spiders need to paralyze their prey, so they have fangs and poison glands. Daddy longlegs don’t need to paralyze dead leaves, so they have no poison or fangs.

Spiders need to catch and wrap their prey. They have hundreds of nozzles that make silk strands. Daddy longlegs don’t need to wrap rotten berries, so they have no silk. But they do have gas glands to zap their predators and escape.

About the Author

Joanne De Jonge is a freelance writer and a former U.S. National Park Ranger. She attends West Valley Christian Fellowship in Phoenix, Ariz.
X