American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the Spring 1998 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.


Chance Encounter

By A. Noni Mouse

I work in downtown L.A.
And often I’ve been told
Rats live among the buildings
And garbage cans, so bold.

Co-workers said they’d seen them
Much to their despise
Big black rats “the size of cats”
With glowing beady eyes.

A year or more I watched close
For signs of dreaded scourge
Not a once on many trips
Did any rats emerge.

Then one day in winter cold
I stepped out of the bus
And from the corner of my eye
I saw a blur of rust.

Between the wall and bushes
Among the dirt and leaves
A little rat did scamper
From out among the trees.

He boldly came in daylight
Bounding into view
His coat quite sleek and gleaming
A brilliant amber hue.

He was nearly Cinnamon
Unlike Agouti gray
And as he ran among the leaves
He stopped along the way.

He briefly washed his face and hands
Then quickly ate a snack
Pausing with the sunlight
Upon his tawny back.

Smaller than my boys at home
Despite what I’d been told
To me it was surprising
For him to be so bold.

Perhaps it’s that I see things
Through a fancier’s eye
But this little rat was beautiful
Beneath the winter sky.

He moved with grace and elegance
While searching for his meal
Reminding me of living art
I couldn’t help but feel.

Then the spell was broken as
He hurried on his way
And off to work I trudged along
To start another day.

Now I can say to all who see
Huge monsters lurking near
There truly isn’t very much
For anyone to fear.

I do wonder why it is
So many people find
Great big black blood-thirsty rats
Lurking in their mind.

Perhaps it’s all the T.V. press
Ben, Willard, and that sort
Or the effect twilight has
On what people do report.

All I know is what I saw
On that fateful day
A little rat just wishing
To pass along his way. *

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July 18, 2014