why on earth am i writing about rats today, and before the sun comes up? i was thinking of a list of my favourite children's books, and thought of the rats of nimh, and then the rat in charlotte's web, and thought i'd see how many other famous rats i could come up with and, with a teensy bit of reminding help from google, came up with nine examples:
1. Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien
the first book i ever read that had something positive in it about rats. still would not consider one as a pet, even though some people do. we once looked after the class pet for a weekend. apparently our school could not afford a hamster or guinea pig so we had a pet ... lemming. it got out of its cage and was eventually found when my sister got into bed and it nipped her toes. my family is really not into rodents. and we never did have any pets while we were growing up :-(
2. The Rats by James Herbert
some boys at the boys' school were reading this when it came out and so i did too. i must have been about 12, and my sister 10. i read her the passage that first describes the mutant rats devouring humans from the inside out. this was during the day. that night, i played the worst trick i ever did. i crawled into my sister's room, reached up under the covers, grabbed her leg and cried: "the rats are here!" her screams turned on lights in flats across the road. nobody was very impressed with me for quite a while.
3. 1984 by George Orwell
winston's fear of rats is how he is forced to betray his lover.
4. Templeton the rat in Charlotte's Web by E.B.White
oh how i hate this rat for being greedy and unkind. oh how i cry when charlotte dies.
5. Basil the rat in Fawlty Towers
Manuel the waiter has a pet in his room. The hotel inspector is coming to the hotel to inspect it. Mr. Fawlty sees the pet and identifies it as a rat. Manuel insists that it is a hamster, a "filigree siberian khamster." the rat and the inspector meet.
6. Ratbert drawn by Scott Adams
a rat that has no bite, ratbert is quite a sweet character (for a rat) in the world of dilbert
7. Amy in Buffy the Vampire Slayer
i never really liked this character, but she is in one of my all-time favourite tv shows and she is a rat so here she is
8. Roland Rat
one of the first star presenters on tv-am for channel 4 in the early '80's. awwright ratfans!
ron weasley's familiar in the first couple of harry potter books that turns out to be peter pettigrew/wormtail, the animagus that betrayed harry's parents.
ok, done with rats. from now on, consider this blog an outpost of the isle of man, where it is taboo and very unlucky to mention a "longtail".