Two weeks ago, I was watering the garden when my wife screamed that there was a dead rat by the water faucet next to our garage. Feeling happy to have the opportunity to be manly, I calmly told my wife to get me a bag and a pair of used chopsticks. With disposal equipment in hand, I walked over to the rat and discovered that it was not dead at all.
The rat was actually the size of a mouse and its has rolled itself into a ball with its head between its crotch. When I poked it, it started crawling slowly and erratically toward our garage. It was obviously sick, probably from eating something bad. The rat's heroic (?) attempt to reach the safety looked just like those melodramatic movie scenes and I started feeling sorry for the rat.
Only when my wife screamed at me to save our garage from the obviously dying rat, I started guiding the crawling rat away from our garage and toward the road. After nearly 30 minutes of gentle nudging and foot stomping, the rat finally made it safely (?) cross the road. Later that night, I got worried about the rat so I went to check and found it gone, a happy ending of sort.
Burningbird's post about grey squirrels reminded me of the rat tonight. I guess I am soft at heart. It's a good thing I have a hard shell.