A rat, I said, a rat!
My daughter’s last exam for this semester happened to fall in the final block of the last exam sitting – Saturday evening at 7 PM. In order to avoid her having to take the bus out to the boonies late at night after all that writing, I went in with her. The plan was that she’d go do her thing, and I was going to get a bunch of work done while sitting outside the library, near the coffee shop.
I started out in earnest, getting into what I was doing and also trying to stay warm in this old building with its drafty air vents and smell of mould hanging in the air. A little research, some more writing, and things were coming along quite nicely. Within about ninety minutes I had the outlines for two articles finished…when out of the corner of my eye I caught movement out. I looked, and then had to look some more just to be sure. There it was; brown, kind of rounded, and definitely moving. It was much too large to be an errant hamster escaped from a dorm room. The give away came as he bravely moved fully out from the shadows, followed by a very long tail. Nearly the same length as his body if I didn’t include the head. It was a rat. A freakin’ rat here in the same (thankfully large) space as me! I was fascinated.
It dawned on me that perhaps I ought to react and get moving out of there entirely, but I really wanted to watch him for a bit. He sniffed his way under the empty tables, looking for cast offs. Two or three tables, and then he moved out of sight in among a bunch of greenery that was supposed to spruce the place up. I kind of hoped that he might be heading somewhere that was at least warm for the night. The university will be closed tomorrow for the Christmas holidays and all the students gone so there will be little else for him to scavenge. Hope he cannot squeeze under that door over there and make it into the library bookshelves. No doubt at some point one of the many rat traps around here may claim him. Good luck you rat!