Here’s something you don’t read about too often; how a powerless group of vermin rise up and destroy their betters.
This all started out as a simple experiment. All my neighbors had done it for years and it couldn’t be as hard as it looked- this growing of vegetables and herbs. They spent hours out there cultivating and watering. Entire weekends weeding out the murderous vining plants that originated in our yard and stretched themselves insidiously over the fence and threatened to snuff out the potential bountiful harvest.
Why couldn’t we become farmers, living off the land? It would be a matter of months before our plants began giving us what we needed to survive and my need to roll a wonky cart up a too small city supermarket aisle would be gone! All that remained to purchase was the goat for milk and we were set to move off the grid and start canning shit to store in our basement.
What followed was a lesson that growing tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers in your desolate urban wasteland of a backyard bears no resemblance to the idyllic existence among the rolling hills and vast acreage of a real farm.
Leaving the safety of my home, I’d venture out to check on my quickly growing plants only to notice large gaping holes in my newly sprouted tomatoes and entire insides gutted from my impressive cucumbers. Shrugging, I was quick to blame this on “hungry birds and insects”.
Then came the sinkhole sized tunnel openings all over my small patch of backyard dirt and the seventeen neighborhood cats who took up permanent residence on my fence while watching my garden with the intensity of starved lions waiting for a herd of bleeding antelopes to collapse.
Finally, I saw them.
Large, well-fed, bold and outrageously healthy looking. I had bred super rats.
These son of a bitches ate every single tomato, cucumber, strawberry and basil that popped out. They left the jalapeno peppers, apparently they don’t like them.
Within the span of a few months my postage stamp sized garden had turned into a feeding ground for entire rat families to enjoy. Because they were lightning fast and super smart they were able to evade most of our clumsy attempts at destroying them. No matter how many we killed, thousands came back and took their place.
They swaggered between houses using the entirety of the block to fearlessly move between yards, picking up anything of interest: some lettuce from next door, chives from two places down, a small child. When we’d pick one up out of the trap that had snapped its neck we found it hard not to notice it’s ” thick shiny coat and bright eyes“. Our rats were healthy, you had to give them that.
Having never reached our goal of complete self-sufficiency, we now had to contend with that failure on top of the disgusted looks of the many good people now trying in vain to fend off a superior rat population.
I can feel myself burning with shame and horror when I see them moving in proper rat formation through what should have been our side salads and then chewing through a fence to get at someone elses hard work. I hate them.