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Rats in the Belfry

by Beverley, Napier, New Zealand


Have you ever had a rat in the ceiling? At night it started - I think that rat must have thought he was in some sort of rat derby the way he pounded around the ceiling race-track. Ollie was riveted. With staring eyes he glared at the ceiling in undisguised longing. We pondered. "What about poison?" suggested John. I shuddered. I was not prepared to poison anything - even a rat. "Traps?" queried John. More shudders. Sometimes traps don't kill them properly and the rat has to be despatched. I remembered a ghastly episode in my youth when I flatted with a girl-friend. We set a trap for a rat and caught it by the tail. Reinforcements had to be called in to finish it off.

John made a brilliant suggestion, "How about Ollie?" he said. Bingo. We found a ladder and opened the manhole. (or is it a personhole) Ollie was champing at the bit. He purred as John carried him up the ladder and reached up to insert him into the loft. There was a pounding of feet, a lot of thumping and crashing around and then - silence. John shone a torch into the loft and there was Ollie - a huge rat dangling from his jaws.

You might think that when the rat was carried down from the loft and given a decent burial in the garden that that would be the end of the matter, dear reader. But one thing was forgotten - Ollie was still in the loft. A simple matter to lift him down, I hear you say. We thought so too.

John reached up to lift down Ollie who had seated himself obligingly beside the