Of Rats, The Continuing Saga
August 13, 2009
Well, the most bizarre twist to this story has occurred today. Earlier, Bridget and I went out into the back yard and noticed our dog, Piper, snuffling excitedly around the perimeter of the garden. Lo and behold, there in the thicket of tomato plants, was the Rat Himself! Or, maybe it is actually a field mouse. Grey, with bright beady eyes and soft-looking fur and a long, skinny tale.
Awfully cute, really.
We’ve spent the day intermittently spotting it as it scurries back and forth from the garden to a certain place under the fence next to a big, flat rock.
Right now, as I write, Piper has dug out some dirt around that area near the fence and is fixedly watching the hole, tail wagging, nose snuffling. In our neighbor’s yard, on the other side of the fence, our cat Beatrice is stationed. Talk about teamwork! This is some real-life Wonderpets in action, except that instead of saving baby animals, they’re trying to massacre them.
Bridget is weeping and wailing, “But it’s our family’s rat. I want to keep him!!” Lucy is pragmatically saying things about “the circle of life.” And Phoebe is taking an in-between stance, hoping the mouse escapes but pleased that the dog and cat are doing their jobs.
And me? I’m conflicted. As frustrated and anxious as I’ve been about the situation, to see that little creature’s terrified eyes and his cute little leap from the garden wall onto the dirt… well. I’m a sucker. I hope he gets away. But I also hope that this day of terror for him will be enough to keep him far away from my tomatoes.