Sunday, 8 March 2009


I did something today I have never done before.

I screamed!

I used to envy those girls at school who ran around the yard screaming as if the devil were after them. I would watch movies where the heroine screamed loud enough to burst the eardrums of anyone within a hundred yards and wonder ‘How do they do that?’ I couldn’t even imagine myself screaming. I hadn’t the slightest idea where a scream was supposed to come from. The best I could manage was a pathetic little squeak. But today I did it properly.

Annie had been outside and was covered with sand, so I decided to give her a brush before I let her back in. I went to the cupboard on the verandah where the brush is kept and opened the door. Then I pulled out the drawer. As I did, a huge black rat leapt from the shelf above me, skittered down my arm into the drawer and disappeared back into the depths of the cupboard.

And I screamed.

A real scream. It wasn’t the best scream you ever heard. Not one Fay Wray would have been proud of. But it was a real scream. The best I ever did. And it brought the family running.

There was much ruminating on the best way to get rid of the rat. With two cats (both good ratters, but not keen to come on the verandah since Annie arrived) we didn’t want to put down poison. But rat traps have a horrible habit of not quite working. I don’t like rats, but I don’t like to see them tortured by a trap that hasn’t done its job. In the end P decided the only thing for it was to empty the cupboard.

So he did. It needed doing. There was a rubbish-bin-full of stuff in there that needed tossing. Of course, the rat was too canny to stick around long enough to be found. It took off down the verandah, into the laundry and up under the washing machine.

By this stage, my knight in shining armour was determined not to be thwarted by this wee, sleekit, cowrin, not-so-tim'rous beastie. He marched in there, pulled the washing machine out and proceeded to take the thing to pieces.

An hour later, after much banging and muttering, he emerged, soaked to the skin, yowling like a cat and carrying a very wet and dead rat by the tail. I’m glad to say he didn’t follow the ritual of one of our cats and deposit it at my feet. Nor did he chew its head off and leave it in the garden as the other cat is wont to do. I don’t know what he did with it to be honest, but it’s gone.

I'm also glad to say the washing machine still works!


Rena said...

Oh no -- I would have screamed too. I've never been a screamer, but I find I do little ones when I'm on rollercoasters. Not full blown screams, just mini-screams.

Poor rat probably didn't know what to think! :)

Luc2 said...

A rat on my arm? I might have screamed too, but in a manly way. Nice illustration. :)

C.R. Evers said...

Yikes! I would've screamed too!!!!

luv the illo's! :0)


Goldie said...

You poor thing, Kate! Bet your heart raced a million miles an hour.

Angela said...

We don't get rats up here, but I bet i would have shatter glass with my scream, lol.