Rat. In a good way.

I’ve seen Ratatouille. It is one of the best movies on my list of best movies. It is the story of a rat with a dream of becoming a chef. That’s all I will say, in case you haven’t had the opportunity to watch it. Those are 111 worthwhile minutes.

Among the ranks, are also The Tale of Despereaux, Flushed Away, An American Tail, and The Secret of NIMH, to name a few. I should also give mention to the two rats who gave an incredible performance in Chicken Run.

If you have never seen a rat up close, they are very cute. Incredibly, if you ask me. Of course, there is the tail. But we all have our blemishes, don’t we? Who among us is perfect? Rats, are cute. Mostly.

Don’t take my word for it. Look at this one.

Rats, too, have feelings. They can be happy, or scared, or a lot of different things. Like any other animal. We notice this when we spend time around the animals who share this planet with us.

Which brings me to the story. There was a rat. In Germany. And apparently, the rat lived down in the sewer, where a lot of rats seem to live. It might not be as bad as we envision. I personally, have never been down in a sewer. And certainly not one in Germany. If we refer to the film listed earlier, Flushed Away, the mice and rats have a whole little world down there. With little bakeries and shops, and a little town square. And such.

Anyway, back to Germany. Two little girls (Mädchen) were playing outside one morning, and they heard something screaming. Upon investigation, they found a rat who had become wedged in the top of sewer grate. Apparently, that rat was trying to come above — from down there below. And he must have put on some weight since the last time he ventured out. We all know how that goes.

And. Well. That fat rat got stuck in the top of the manhole.

The girls were very upset by her predicament. So their parents called the Berufstierrettung Rhein Neckar. Which is a local animal rescue organization. They showed up on site. But they couldn’t get that rat free either. So they made a call to the fire department. Those good Germans. I love Germany.

And yes. The fire department willingly went to the rat emergency, and after a bit of work, freed the rat. They gave him a quick physical check, and returned him to his sewer home below. As if this weren’t enough, in the final feel-good-moments, the little girls drew glad pictures of the rat rescue, and presented them to the fire firefighters. Who then left the scene and went and ate yummy Currywurst after such a big day.

And my point. Ratten sind wichtig. Rats matter.

Although I’ve written this light-heartedly, I’m not joking here. They do matter. And so do Monarch Butterflies, and Honeybees. The African Elephant, the Black Rhino, the Green Turtle, and the Jaguar. These are just a few of the things on our planet’s endangered species list. These are the beings that are losing their lives, and leaving our planet, as a result of bad human behavior.

They suffer, they are dying off, because they are stuck in our manholes. They are getting caught in the foolishness of people who won’t admit that science is real. I wish we could call the Fire Department, and make it all better. But it is going to take more than that. We need changes in our legislation, the keep the planet breathing. To get us all out of the sewer.


“The earth is what we all have in common.” —Wendell Berry


“Plans to protect air and water, wilderness and wildlife are in fact plans to protect man.” —Stewart Udall


“Caring for the Earth is not a hippie thing, it’s a survival thing.” —Unknown


I’m stuck. Dag nab it.

Rats are cute.

Really cute.