The shrew is a very small insect-eating rodent, smaller than a house mouse.
During the day, the shrew almost all the time under the ground, because it can not stand the sun’s rays that blind it, and at night often comes to the surface of the earth and catches insects and mice.
The body of the shrew is very well adapted to underground life: the body is long, covered with smooth velvety fur, which the earth does not molest and rolls easily, the muzzle is stretched into a long sensitive proboscis, eyes are slightly noticeable, tightly pressed to the head ears are closed with valves when the shrew is digging in the ground. The color of the wool is dark brown, the bottom is grayish-white. But the shrew legs are delicate and weak and poorly adapted to digging the ground, so shrew digging minks and moves only in the soft loose ground, and in the hard prefer to use other people’s, abandoned minks of different animals and moves, dug moles, in which they are particularly common.
All the movement of the shrew is very agile and dexterous: it perfectly runs, jumps, climbs, and in case of need can even swim. The shrew is constantly at work, always running back and forth, spinning with her trunk and finding food; it is as if she can never eat enough, and several hours of hunger already kill her. Therefore, even for the winter, the shrew does not store food for herself like hedgehogs but continues running under the ground in search of prey. Often, in winter, a shrew woman moves from the forest to human habitation, climbing into stables and barns and settling there to catch mice.
A shrew is very similar to a mouse, this resemblance often ruins it: dogs, foxes, hedgehogs, and many other mice often catch it and strangle it, probably taking it as a mouse, and then throw it, as no animal will eat shrew because of the disgusting musk smell that this little animal produces. Probably because of this same smell, many people hate shrew and weave all kinds of tall tales about them. For example, in England, this little harmless animal is feared almost as much as poisonous snakes: it is said that its bite is poisonous, that a single touch of a shrew is a harbinger of some misfortune, and that a man or animal, who is “struck by a shrew”, must soon get sick, and many shrews die because of human superstition.
Little shrew cubs are born very weak and helpless, blind, naked, but very soon they grow, grow strong, become on their own legs and scatter in different directions.