As you know, I've been reading about rats. Lots about rats. More than I ever thought I might. This is what happens when one starts to research a subject. It becomes a rabbit hole that goes ever so much deeper than originally imagined. I've discovered, in fact, that one cannot read lots about rats without
reading quite a bit about plague, which is actually not about rats so much as about humans...
And about fleas that look a bit like tiny elephants.
But then, that's another story.
This Poppet (above, in red) is inspired by the idea of the Pied Piper, who may or may not have lead rats out of an infested city. The rats I sculpted (with a very tiny tool and mostly, a toothpick) are not of the black Rattus rattus sort associated with plague, but more of the Rattus norvegicus sort associated with nearly every city block in New York and currently,
with a small out-of-the-way and (thankfully) mostly unused pantry in this artist's kitchen.
The Plague Doctor Poppet is inspired by research into plague central, circa 1345. (shudder) Just don't you wonder what the long stick is for?
I truly doubt our pantry rat would follow a flute (possibly I should give it a try, as I happen to have several on hand) but it might follow what author Robert Sullivan names as a favorite food:
Vienna sausages, sardines and Kit Kat bars, all stuck together with peanut butter. Yum.
Anyway, yes, I'm in a quandary, still.
I explained to David K. earlier today, that extermination is no longer an option, as I've come face to face and eye to eye with this creature more than once, and I know that it likes oranges but not Oreos.
I have an offer of a trap from the local animal control center, but taking the rat away might mean leaving behind babies that will die in our walls and leave our kitchen unsuitable for humans and my sleep much disturbed for months. I keep reading and learning loads about rats, but not so much about this one, or what to do.
And I'll admit that I'm heavily influenced by affections for another rodent residing in this house, namely Zorcon the Destroyer (of carrots.)
This is a problem that will only get bigger, left unresolved. But who, with even the merest shred of childhood left, can resist the scenario of leaving a treat at night that is mysteriously vanished in the morning?
It's the kind of thing people get involved in when they spend entirely too much time alone in their houses and in their heads.
And, it carries the seed of a story. Don't you think?