I am keeping a secret from my husband and son, a secret which has the power to rock them to their very foundations. You see, my husband and son although definitely of the male persuasion, are a couple of pansies when it comes to certain things. One of these things is rats.
Now I’m not saying I like rats. I defy anyone not to feel like climbing on to a chair and screaming when faced with the feral black Sydney rat. It is a horrible sight that even now, when I think about it, is sending chills up my backbone.
I have only seen a couple in all the years I have lived in Sydney and it is not a sight I want to repeat any time soon. They hiss and they lunge. And they’re huge. ‘Nuff said.
But this little fella, he’s a different story –
This is a little Aussie Bush Rat. Isn’t he cute? He lives in the ferns and shrubbery in our garden. I have caught him nibbling on some of the seeds I put out for the birds. He rarely comes into view. He is a little Aussie Speedy Gonzales.
However, I am worried. He appeared twice today. Well before sunset. Munching away merrily on sunflower seeds. The birds didn’t finish them off because there was a storm and they flew off to find shelter.
I am worried that if he appeared twice today he might appear twice again tomorrow, and that my son might see him. Or even worse – my husband. Have you ever seen a grown man scream at the sight of a small, furry mammal? Three words. It ain’t pretty.
All hell will break loose if he sees it. The traps will be out before I can say native australian animal. And I couldn’t stand to see my little chubby nibbling friend caught in a trap, because I kind of like him. So I’m hoping that from now on he stays well hidden so that we all miss out on a sound from which we may never recover; the excruciating, terrifying scream of the Wimpus Horribilus – the Fully Grown Pansy.