Late last summer, when John and I were walking up our driveway, an animal jumped in front of us and hopped away. For a second, it sort of looked like a kangaroo rat from the way it was hopping, and I was wondering if it was really that dry so that a kangaroo rat would live here. Of course it wasn’t a kangaroo rat, but anyway, John and I gave chase. We chased the thing up into a peach tree at the end of our yard and John ran to get our mom while I guarded the animal. He didn’t move as long as I was close, but if I moved away, he would start making his way down the tree. So I stayed close to the tree, and pretty soon our mom arrived with John. She didn’t know what it was, but she was pretty sure it was a rat so she got our next door neighbor to come look at it since our dad wasn’t home. The animal was identified as a rat and that was not good.
In case you don’t know, rats are bad news. If rats start multiplying in a neighborhood, they can do a lot of damage. Apparently, the rat had come from another neighbor’s yard and was just sitting at the beginning of ours when we walked up. Those other neighbors have goats and a horse in their backyard and the animals are fed grain. We’ve seen rat holes in their stable before, so we are quite sure that is where the rat came from.
Anyway, our next door neighbor was going to kill it, but it got away. He said that he didn’t think it was going to last long since he was able to hit it once, but the rat didn’t die. We started hearing scrabbling noises from our garage a few weeks later, and our dad set rat traps for it. When to rat avoided the traps for a week, we took everything out of our garage and finally saw it. My dad had a hard time chasing it down, but he was finally able to kill it which is a good thing, because if he hadn’t, we might be having a serious rat problem right now.