The only thing worse than seeing a grimy, fat rat scurrying down the sidewalk is seeing a dead one lying in the middle of it.
Actually, no. There is something worse.
Nearly stepping on a sopping wet, R.I.P.-ed, XL rodent is far worse than just seeing one.
No. Thank. You.
There I was, bopping to Franz Ferdinand, umbrella in hand, looking straight ahead, when all of a sudden a piece of trash (I thought…either that or a reaaaaally large pile of dog doo) appeared in my path. I looked closer and screeched. Jumped. Gagged. Nearly tripped.
I looked around, eyes averting the dead rat, to see if anyone had noticed my little freak out.
No. There was no one to share in my grief-ridden disgust at seeing and nearly stepping on that poor, dead-as-a-doornail-Splinter.
Silly rats, why can’t you stay put? Stick to the sewers and the dumpsters and garbage cans where you belong! Quit creeping on the sidewalks.
Or, better yet, quit croaking on the sidewalks!
Now I know that this sodden, ripe little Templeton probably fell for the ole poison gimmick. Dummy. So it was his own fault that his blood vessels burst and that he collapsed, dead. In the rain nevertheless – so very poignant for a rodent.
But I thought rat-a-tat-tats were supposed to bring the poison back to their lair and share the wealth? I thought they were supposed to seek out their watering hole or something? I thought they were supposed to die in the comfortable confines of their own sordid nests???
Why, then, did I nearly step on a deceased, rain-soaked rodent?
And of course I have the audacity to feel bad for any and all NYC pests (fine, except water bugs). But pigeons and mice and seagulls and rats – no matter how vulgar and unpleasant they might be, they can’t help it. They’re just trying to make a living, ya know?
So on top of being completely nauseated and not just a little unnerved, a wave of sadness struck me as well.
Poor little buddy.
If it was 1993 and I was on my farm with my friend Sarah Tuthill, I probably would have buried that sad little rat. With a headstone saying, “Here Lies Templeton.”
Cause yeah. We did that.