Chapter 58: The Rats

One night while I was in the kitchen, a big fat rat (6 inches not counting his tail) came out from under the cabinet where we kept our grocery items. He ran back quickly when he heard my scream! That’s when we knew who had been eating different things in our kitchen and house. He had to be the one. He had eaten some of our hand soap on the kitchen sink. I put a lid on that container so he couldn’t get in there again. Then we found that he had been eating the potatoes and sweet potatoes we had in a rack on top of the refrigerator. I kept onions on one level and different kinds of potatoes on the other two levels. Even in our bathroom upstairs, we found that someone had taken our hand soap. We thought it was our household helper who had gotten it, as she had been working in there that day. However, when I talked to her about it, she said she thought it was the rat that had gotten it. How could he ever get up there? We couldn’t figure it out. At least, at first, we couldn’t figure it out.

Then I looked around the room and saw a couple of short boards leaning against the wall next to the sink. I realized that he had apparently climbed up on one of those boards to the next higher one, and from there, he went to the sink itself. It seemed it was made just for him. He got not only that piece of soap, but he also got the next soap I put there. That was before we realized what was happening and moved the boards.

We decided to put out a trap for him. However, he was too fat to get caught in the trap. We put several peanuts in it and nothing happened, so we finally bought some Racumin, a poisonous blue powder that one is supposed to put into places where the rat might go to hide. I put it around the back of the refrigerator, the oven/stove, and the cabinet where we kept our grocery items stored. I put it around the place where Chuck was setting up his trap, too. However, the rat didn’t eat the Racumin; maybe it wasn’t appetizing enough for him.

We decided to mix regular food with the poisonous blue powder. We put a little cupful of our concoction in one of his hiding places. The first food we mixed in was some rice candy that someone had sent to us as a birthday gift from a party they had at their house. He didn’t eat it at all. Apparently, he didn’t eat sweet stuff. So next, Chuck mixed potatoes with the poison, and that seemed to do the trick. The Rat ended up eating almost all the food that was in the little cup. Then one night as I came in after our meeting to get supper ready, I smelled something like a dead rat in the room. It smelled terrible, and yet, it was a “good” smell, if you can understand why I say that. I began to move boxes around looking for him. I looked under the sink, where he had hidden or gone to die; there he was! He wasn’t nearly as big as when I saw him alive a few days before. Maybe because we were trying to keep food/soap out of his reach as much as possible.

At any rate, I waited to show Chuck, and then we put it into a dust pan and I took it outside to the trash pile in the backyard. What an experience! It really took a long time to outfox that rat. That very night, something else happened that was the counterpoint to us outfoxing our rat. A lady came over to tell us about something, and right while she was talking to us, she saw a rat crossing the floor in our living room. Wow, I could hardly believe it. Chuck ran for the big bolo knife, and I was wondering what to get myself so we could head him off, when all of a sudden the rat ran over toward that lady. Wow! Guess what she did! She stomped on it with her feet, her little black flats made a quick kill, the counterpoint to our outfoxing strategy. Oh, my goodness. I wouldn’t ever have done such a thing in all my life. She killed it right then and there, and we got the dust pan again, swept it into that and dumped it outside in the back yard. What a courageous thing that was. I could hardly believe it, and still wonder how she could ever do such a thing. Yet, it was probably what she routinely did, living in a rural area.

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