The Rat Lady.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A boy writes about a neighbor woman who raised rats as a living.

Submitted: May 15, 2017

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Submitted: May 15, 2017

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My neighbor, Mrs. Quick, raised rats as a living.  She had a whole family of them and treated them with much love and respect.  She made me see them in a new light.  I found out that they had their own personalities and that they were not the ugly, nasty rodents most people perceived them to be.

She had five of them.  Blackie, Squeakie, Short-Tail, Spotty, and Big-Ears were their names.  They were actually kind of cute, especially Big-Ears, Spotty, and Squeakie.  They were probrably my favorites of the rats she had.

Big-Ears, Squeakie, and Spotty were very sweet, with calm, laid-back personalities.  They would climb on my shoulders and nibble my ear, which tickled, as did their whiskers; I never failed to laugh whenever the rats climbed on me like I was a human jungle gym.

Blackie and Short-Tail were the more reserved, the shyer, of the quintet.  They weren't nearly as friendly or accepting; whenever they saw or heard me approaching, they would more than likely run into their hiding place and not come out until well after I had gone home or until Mrs. Quick coaxed them out.

Whenever I visited Mrs. Quick and her rats, she would regale me with stories about their lives, or would show me new tricks that they learned.  They were very smart and talented and quite charming.  I ended up falling in love with them and looked forward to visiting Mrs. Q. and her rats every day I possibly could.  I wanted to take one of the rats as a pet of my own, but knowing that I couldn't, as my mother had a deadly aversion to rats.  Just the very sight of one (or even a mouse) would send her into a conniption fit.  So I had to settle for no rats for pets.

I knew Mrs. Quick for a few years.  Her rats lived to be three or four; Squeakie lived the longest.  He was about five when he finally died, which is very old for a rat.  After Squeakie died, Mrs. Quick suffered a devastating stroke; she never woke up.  She died shortly thereafter.  It broke my heart; I really loved my neighbor, and I loved her rat family, too.  Now they were all gone, and all I had left (and have left still) are the memories.

Maybe I could convince my mother to get me  a rat.  I could show her that rats are not to be hated or feared, that they can make loving pets, and that they are more than their appearance or reputation might make them to be.  


© Copyright 2017 Karen Lynn. All rights reserved.

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