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Rats In your Neighbor-Hood!
Rats In the Neighborhood
As long as I can remember, there have been rats running around in the neighborhood, most of the time we would see rats along the train tracks, in abandon houses, and in garbage cans. Rarely did we have rats inside of occupied homes, and if we did, they were mice, which were fairly easy to catch and control. Rats never presented a real presence or threat to me in my younger years of life. Sometimes I even thought they were kind of cool!
As horror movies began to appear in the movie theater, I developed a fear of rats that warranted caution based on what I had learned. Rats are filthy, disease caring animals capable of transmitting these diseases to humans if bitten. At one point I remember a story of a rat biting a infant constantly in the face and legs. No need to mention, this sent chills through me, and so I developed a healthy disdain for rats.
Over time, rats have slowly but surely made their way into the city in an alarming rate. I would say part of this reason is because of man developing businesses and residences in what used to be field land, thus leaving room for rodents to roam freely. Farming the land had migrated to the outer limits of the city, and because of that, food that the rats would normally feast on became scarce.
Even though I was afraid of mice, rats, and the like, I always maintained my stance that I will never be too afraid of anything, insects, cats, or dogs included, that I can't defend myself. I guess this is what lead to my encounter with a rat one day, and to be honest, the Rat won the battle.
Fun in The Sun!
One day, my cousin and I were out for a day of fun. We had been discussing the city and the many unruly changes that has taken place over the years. We talked about all the garbage on the street, and the many abandoned houses. We speculated as to how the city got that way and how things could get better. Amongst one of the topics, we talked about how all kinds of animals are coming into the city and why. Lack of food in their natural habitat most likely we concluded. We continued to make jokes about this and were laughing hysterically.
We pulled up to my apartment, and sat and talked a little more. While we were sitting there, we noticed what we thought was a groundhog down the street in front of a neighbor's home. I said, "Look at that! We were just talking about this. Animals not only coming into the city, but also, coming out in broad daylight just as bold, like they belong here," We laughed some more as we watched this animal go in and out of people's backyard, then back to the front yard. At some point we lost track of where the animal had gone.
You Buck Me, I'll Buck you back!
So the time had come for me to get out of the car and go into the house. I open the door and step out, still talking, and then I noticed something at the end of my driveway. When I looked, I screamed a little, put my head inside the car and informed my cousin that what we thought was a groundhog was really a big Hood rat! It was huge, but small enough that it really didn't bother me that much. We laughed again.
Then I got the bright idea that I would stomp my foot on the ground and yell, "Get out of here!". Well, let me tell you, that rat was not impressed at all with what I had just done to show my sign of strength. The rat just looked up at me and went on eating whatever it had found. Now, I needed to go in the house and was quite pissed with this rat because it had basically ignored me and my stomp. So I stomped again and yelled.
This time that rat stopped what it was eating, stood up on its' hind legs, and looked at me. I thought, "I'm bigger than this rat and I'm not scared of him." Well, we stood there for about 10 seconds eyeballing each other. Then I bucked forward towards the rat with my arms out and said, "So what you going to do?" People's let me tell you, that rat started charging towards me so fast like, "I'll show you what I'm going to do! This is not just your neighborhood, I live here to!"
This was all I Saw!!!
When that rat charged at me like that, I'm not playing, the picture above is all I saw. I jumped back in that car so fast, I banged my head on the top of the car door, and shut it. My cousin didn't quite see what I saw, but she saw the rat running towards me. She was rolling with uncontrollable laughter. I didn't think it was that funny at the time, but some time later, I too had a good chuckle.
After all the excitement, I asked her, "Where did he go??" We had no idea where he had went and I couldn't stay in the car long because she had to pick up her kids. She said, "I'm sorry, but I got to go! I was so afraid to get out of the car, but I knew I had to. So I hurried up and got out the car, darn near tripping, and ran on the porch and when I looked back, I saw the rat. He had ran down to the next driveway and was looking back at me like, "Yeah, you buck me baby I'll buck you back. You do not scare me!"
I will never forget that incident as long as I live, but I do have a warning to people, "These animals are learning, and they're getting bolder! You better watch out, this is not your neighborhood no more." The evolution of the rats in the neighborhood is astounding to me. I have noticed that they aren't too afraid of cats either. The odd thing is, I never use to see certain animals in the day time and out in public so brazenly, but now, I see skunks, groundhogs, and this really shocked me, raccoon's!
I have learned another valuable lesson, and I try my best to leave them alone, and I hope they leave me alone.