Betsy Saved Me from a Rat!
Well it wasn’t exactly life-threatening – but she saved me being really scared by a rat. As usual she came with me to let the ducks out and she followed me into the rabbit shed – where she pounced on a rat and quickly killed it. It was probably half dead from poison or she would never have caught it – she is getting on a bit! But it was dead very quickly and I didn’t have to kill it. Horrible things. Always makes me think of the poem:
Rats, they fought the dogs and killed the cats and bit the babies in the cradles, and ate the cheeses out of the vats and licked the soup from the cooks’ own ladles…
Shropshire might not be as bad as Hamelin, but we don’t have a Pied Piper to lure the rats away and, in the past, I have had problems with rats eating tiny baby rabbits. Finding half eaten babies in the morning is not one of my fonder memories! After persevering with rat traps for ages, we finally had to resort to rat poison – you can buy packets of liquorice smelling poison that you don’t have to open but just place in the boxes. The council used to come out but they don’t any more – although you can still get advice from your local council. They provided us with safe rat poison boxes which are placed along the rat runs. I keep an eye open for any rat droppings which act as a reminder to put poison down again. It doesn’t matter how careful you are with never leaving food lying around, rats always find a way – and they cause so much damage eating holes in everything too.
Looking up the spelling of Hamelin, I found the poem – I didn’t know that Robert Browning wrote it and it has a different ending to the fairy tale I knew. It’s one of the poems on this website if you want to read it for yourself.