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Bested by a Rat
by Elizabeth Hale
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For a couple of months now, I have been engaged in a battle of sorts with a very wily and sneaky little intruder. Possibly--probably--more than one. I, being the stubborn creature that I am, am determined to come out ahead.

The city workers are in the process of tearing up every single street around my home to replace the sewer lines. In the process, they are forcing out the natural inhabitants of any sewer system in America--the mighty RAT! And boy, are these guys BIG! We had one, at one point, whom we named Big Daddy (before we killed him) because he was so big he was only able to drag himself along. I'm not kidding, he looked like one of those wind up toys with the rubber feet-you wind it up and slap, slap, slap go the feet as they waddle away. We watched as he, and his family, pulled themselves out from under our shed for their nightly feast of dog food. Finally, we had an explanation for our dog's very odd behavior every evening, we had the proof of why our brave and protective best friend was cowering in his tiny doghouse for hours on end. We got rid of that bunch. PHEW!

I realize that God created all creatures. All of us serve our respective purposes according to His plan. I decided to leave the huge groundhog who lives under my other shed alone. I like to watch him come out and play in the evening. I'm not mean or anything. But when these creatures step over into my territory, well, let's just say I ain't havin' it! I can stand in my shower and listen to the rats climbing the walls behind the fiberglass. One night, I tapped the wall, and one of them scratched back!

Enough! I told my fearless husband. It's me or them! Meanwhile, my friend Judy said to me, after I told her I didn't want the nasty things in my house--in my kitchen, "You know, rats are very clean. They're also very intelligent." Of course, I brushed these silly comments aside. I am bigger! I am wiser! I pay the mortgage! I will win this war!

Guess what? I am humbled. I am downtrodden. And I am being beaten at my own game. Judy was right.

Last night, after everyone else was asleep (why does everything happen after all the guys are asleep? Am I just staying up too late? Spending too much time alone?) I heard the loud SNAP! of the rat trap my husband set under the kitchen sink. FINALLY! I got one! Then, to my utter horror, I heard the little thing screaming in pain! Oh no! This wasn't supposed to happen! He was supposed to get it firmly across his little neck--so quick he wouldn't know what hit him. I heard flopping and thrashing along with the piercing scream (I didn't know rats could scream!). I heard cans and bottles of cleaners being knocked hither and yon, mad scrambling noises. Gosh--I felt just terrible! What had I done? And to one of God's creatures no less?

After about thirty minutes, all noises ceased and I breathed a sigh of relief. Okay. Mission accomplished. One down--who knows how many to go. Plus, finally I would have my proof to show all my naysayers, those who don't believe me when I tell them just how big these things are (I've seen ones who are bigger than one of my cats. Apparently, we city dwellers are taking very good care of our wildlife!).

Still,I had visions of the rat, eyes glowing red, just waiting for me to go in there so he could dash out and exact his revenge. I was almost afraid to even move! I was picturing the rat's deathbed scene--"Gather round, children. This is what happens when you step out of line. Take care of your mother". Gasp. Wheeze. Sputter.
Tiny little rat tears, as he realized that if he had only listened to his own mother and stayed where he belonged, this never would have happened. Okay, I admit it. That last little vision did kinda make me happy. But, I was thirsty! The Mountain Dew was in the kitchen. I needed to walk right by the death scene. It was, alas, a very paralyzing scenario. Guilt, and fear, warred within me.

I went to bed thirsty, afraid to take the chance.

This morning, instead of being happy, I was mad. I sent my husband to drag the deceased out from under the sink. Now, as if things aren't bad enough, the latch on the cabinet door is broken, so we've been using a long, rubber Kool-Aid spoon to hold it closed so our intruders can't get into the main house. We hope. My husband found the trap all the way on the other side from where we'd put it, but--NO RAT! Grrrrr! Crafty little thing! How could it have screamed like it did, yet get away anyway? Where is it now? I am praying it is off telling all its little friends not to mess with the mean lady in the house on the hill! I'm so conflicted at this point. I want them gone, gone, gone! But I don't want them to suffer either.

I'm losing my battle. Apparently, the rats are just going to take over my house. Not only mine either--the neighbors are all complaining of the same thing. I guess the rats are smarter. I even put a tasty dish of rat poison directly behind the rat trap so they would have to go over the trap to get their dinner, and they outmanuvered me on that too! Empty dish of rat poison--unsprung rat trap. Sprung rat traps and completely amazing little escape artists! Sigh. I preferred to kill them quickly, as opposed to the slow death they are facing. Not only am I aware that I will probably never be rid of them--I've been told they never travel alone--but I get the pleasant task of enduring the odors they will inevitably leave behind as they go to meet their Maker once they've ingested the poison.

I am close to admitting defeat. They are more determined and I just don't know if I have the heart to continue offing them this way.

God, please bless all the little creatures. Could you maybe just keep them out of my house? So I won't have to murder them? So I won't be afraid to walk into certain rooms of my home?

I thought maybe you guys could use a good laugh for the day, even if it's all at my expense.

Dumber than a rat--that's me! Sigh!

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Member Comments
Member Date
collette mcfarland 23 Nov 2006
I've had the same happen to me with rats and mice. Rats destroy the inner walls of your house and crawl over your pots and pans in the cabinets, if you don't wash them every time you use them you could get sick. Not to mention good dresses hanging to low that have been shredded for nesting material, including my knee length wedding dress I was able to use as a coctail dress on occassion ( I bought a multi-purpose dress, I'm cheap!) So go for it. God made these things for a reason- to satisfy the hunter in us city folk.


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