The title of this blog post is a little dramatic. I was actually face to face with cuteness. Tiny little rats are cute.
Last night when I was putting the pig blanket on the pig, I found myself staring face to face with a rat. It was so cute I had to smile. It was frozen in place of course hoping that I wouldn’t notice. Hoping they wouldn’t see it and become a predator. The rats on this farm are very nervous and run away at the slightest sound.
By the time I was putting the pig in a blanket, the chicken coop was dark. It gets pretty much pitch dark by 6:30 p.m. so I had to enter using the flashlight on my phone which has a reasonably narrow beam.
This means that the rest of the chicken coop remains dark while only the area in my flashlights beam is illuminated. After I placed the blanket over the pig, and moved the phone slightly the beam caught this little guy off guard sitting between two beams of wood.
He didn’t move a muscle. Frozen in place hoping I would leave, without disturbance. So I didn’t. I stayed there with the light on him for 30 seconds longer. Just watching as he watched me. Face to face eye to eye.
I attempted to turn on the camera but that action turned off the flashlight leaving us both in pitch darkness. By the time I turned the camera back on he was gone silently without a trace.
It’s too bad we consider rats to be disease infected pests because I know a lot of people consider them to be cute little pets and others consider them to be life-saving scientific experiments. Rats have a very life depending on how and where they were born.
These one is presumably were born either in this very chicken coop or somewhere nearby. They should feel reasonably safe but noises and birds and hens and dogs and the potential for humans nearby startle them and they run. They run faster than the dogs or the birds or the humans could ever catch up, so we tend to ignore them. They are just there in the peripheral of our eyes occasionally. Coming out to check and see whether the birds have finished with their feed so that they may feast on the left overs.
In a way I wish they would stick around so I could watch them and be entertained by their cute little faces scurrying around looking for a new feast.
I suspect at least 50% of the animal food budget It’s probably left behind by the hens and scooped up by these critters soon after we feed them well and treat them poorly.
Here’s to the rats. They hated enemies that could be friends. Suffering from a reputation they didn’t help create. Like everyone, they’re just trying to get by..