Searching out rodents across the globe

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Rats for Christmas

My name is Sophie, I'm 22 and I still sleep with a stuffed animal. What can I say? I love them. They're cute. They're cuddly. They don't hurt when they fall off the overloaded bookshelf onto my head (unlike those dreaded hardcover books). But I've been trying to cut back. I'm gradually rehoming my animals in hopes that some child may find the same joy that I do.

All except the rats. I love my little stuffed rats. Besides, it wasn't as if I have so many. Or, so I thought..

Suddenly, I'm seeing stuffed rats left and right. I thought Christmas would be a safe holiday -- who wants rats for Christmas? But no, they're everywhere, hiding behind the innocent "mouse" label, but I know better. They're rats.

I've been trying to resist.


I'd just popped in to do some Christmas searching, and to locate a present for my best friend, whose birthday, the first week of December, always seems to slip my mind. And there it was. Sitting on the shelf amid the Young Adult paperbacks. The cutest little stuffed rat beanie, a gingerbread man clutched in his paws. The little tag on his ear dubbed him "Stirring".
While wandering so late at night
I came upon a shocking sight
A jolly man, right by our tree
Who left some treats for you and me !
And he was calling to me. It would be okay to buy him as a gift, wouldn't it? Surely no harm could come of that?

But that was only the start..


I should have known better than to enter another bookstore, this time in search of a present for my father. Suddenly I was surrounded by rats, all of them calling to me.

The first to accost me was a hand puppet. I'd been aware of the Folkmanis company for quite a while -- their adorable rat puppets have been passed around the Ratlist for probably as long as I've been a member -- but I'd never before seen one in person. Sure, this one called himself "White Mouse", but anyone could see by his eager expression that he was a rat. I danced around the store for a bit, waving the little puppet paws in glee, before I remembered that I was supposed to be shopping for my father, not myself, and reluctantly returned the puppet to his rack.

Really, it was my fault for wandering into the children's section in the first place. Barely had I turned around when I found another creature, looking quite ratlike indeed! The name and brand I've already forgotten, but this one I'm sure was a rat -- look at the narrow snout, the thick whiskers, the... corderoy? I quickly replaced the mysterious rodent and fled. Everything would be ok. My will power was quite in tact, thank you very much.

But then I ran into the Beanies. Curse Ty and their adorable Christmas Mice! And here were two of them, each soft and cuddly and oh-so-cute.

Jinglemouse was the first, donning a red Santa hat, a striped package in his paws, and his tag, too, told a story.
Swiftly I'll creep through the house
'Cause after all, I am a mouse
Bringing crumbs of Christmas cheer
To all of those that you hold dear !

The second, a fluffy white dear clutching a wreath, was named Garlands.
While I was helping mom and dad
Something for which they were quite glad
I took a little break, you see
And someone decorated me!

That was just too much to bear. Just one little rat couldn't hurt, could it? And he was only $6.99.. Garlands came home with me.

Surely, now, I was safe from the rats. I bought my father some books (see, I'd done what I came to do!), took my purchases, and left.


Just one final stop before I headed home. Just a few groceries and then I'd call it a night.

Oh, if only I hadn't stepped down Aisle 10.. I should have known there would be rodents lurking in the Holiday Aisle! Another Beanie, I should have known, and this one marked down to $4.99! How could I say no, really, how could I? Janglemouse was her name, and her tag read the same as Jinglemouse, who I suppose is her brother.. or spouse (if mouses have spouses).

Well surely, that was it. I was done with my rat plush extravaganza. My wallet was crying for mercy. And yet, as I turned once again, I saw a bin of stuffed animals, all labled $1.. and in that bin, looking lonely and forelorn, a raggedy little grey rat, his whiskers all askew. Take me, he cried, take me! Really, I have no will power. Into the shopping cart he went.

Finally I headed home, swimming in rats. Once an addict, always an addict.

that was just adorable, i felt like I was really there with you, and i am sure there are many more waiting..... to be rescued
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