Monday, October 20, 2008

Rats Off To Ya!

Don't tell me that chivalry is dead.

On the way to our friend Sean's 30th birthday party in downtown Nashville on Saturday night, Adrienne and I heard frantic scratching noises as we walked along the car-aligned banks of the Cumberland river.

"Is that coming from someone's trunk?", asked Adrienne.

"No, I think it's coming from inside that trash can.", I replied.

As I cautiously approached the receptacle in question, the scratching grew louder and more agitated. I guardedly peeked in and caught a glimpse of what seemed to be a large squirrel, ineffectively leaping for freedom from the shadowy depths of the near-empty trash can.

"It's just a squirrel, it must've fallen in the trash can in search of food or something and now it can't get out", I yelled at Adrienne who was now standing timoroursly, a good twelve feet away from the area of contention.

Upon closer inspection of the woodland creature I noticed that there was no big bushy tail and that its ears and snout were more pronounced than I remembered on a squirrel. That's because it was no squirrel, it was a big ol' sewer rat!

"What should we do?" I asked.

"Nothing! Get away from there! Let's go!", said Adrienne in disgust.

But I couldn't just turn a blind eye, I had to help this poor bastard.

Sure, the rat put itself in this treacherous situation and it should have probably perished for it; natural selection and whatnot. But you don't understand. I was a boy scout, I was taught to defend the defenseless and stand up for what's right. Plus, I'm a Libra and I'm very adverse to injustice and suffering to begin with. And furthermore, my patron saint is St. Francis of Assisi, the dude who (allegedly) talked to animals and felt a kinship with them (you know, kinda like that half-naked dude in the Beastmaster movies). I'd like to think that I have the same kind of qualities. Animals always love me.

So yeah, I had to do something.

I quickly determined that I was not willing to touch the trash can in any way, shape or fashion. That shit looked gross. And I certainly wasn't going to try and grab that fierce beast with my bare hands for fear of catching typhoid or hemorrhagic fever, or perhaps even the bubonic plague.

So I scoured the surroundings for objects that I could throw in there as to create a ladder of sorts for the rat to climb on and out to freedom. There were some trees near by, so I made it across the street and cut off a branch with my trusty pocket knife (another carry-over from my old boy scout days-- always be prepared.)

As soon as I dropped the branch in, the rat came shooting out, like a tiger unleashed from its cage, prompting Adrienne to scream erratically and jump up and down (hence, she was unable to capture the successful rescue operation on film like I had instructed her to.)

The jittery rodent scattered across the pavement and up a hill until it was nowhere in sight.

So maybe saving a rat from a trash can isn't your idea of a valiant act, but I felt proud of my good deed. That's one more rat that'll get to go to school, get to fall in love, get to be cool.

Keep on rockin' in the free world, my ratty friend, keep on rockin' in the free world...

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