Running. And, a disturbance of the peace.


Long run. Sorry. Not long. This little white lie is triggered by 25 years of muscle memory. Feels good to think it was long, and to say it was long. It wasn’t long. They’re not long anymore. They used to be long. Days of running a 10 miler, no water bottle, no music player, no books on tape, mind on lock, feet on auto forward and go —  used to be —  long time ago —  not anymore. Long gone.

I get done with my run. Not long. 3 miles of stop and go. No traffic. A brisk 42° F.  Shelter-in-Place has humans hunkered down.  The Canadian geese are essential personnel.

Long runs have been supplanted with long hot showers. At ~ 3 minutes, guilt washes down from the shower head, water rushes down the drain. A Waste. Guilt passes. I turn up temperature, steam fills the room. Stiff muscles loosen, tired bones ache, body yearns for a late morning nap.

Temperature has climbed to the mid-50’s.  I step outside. Tree Blossoms. Budding trees. Fresh blades of grass. The morning sun warming.

With the squirrel problem solved in 2016 with high tech bird feeders (Miracle-Man-Made), nature is all in its orderly place in the back yard.  Squirrels and chipmunks feed at ground level from the seed spilling from feeder. No acrobatics, no swinging-from-feeder squirrels guzzling $30/bag organic bird feed.

I turn my attention back to my reading.

I’m distracted by birds which flit in and out of the yard. This morning, it’s Finches, canary yellow. 3 or 4 at each feeder at a time.

Down below, and around the yard, Mourning doves. Cardinals, male and female. Brown breasted robins.

Bird song fills the air.  The flutter of wings dart to and from the feeders.  All having breakfast, peacefully co-existing.

I stretch my legs. Body stiffening. Back to reading.

A handful of birds remain at the feeders but the birds at ground level are gone. It’s become quiet. Bird song is gone.

The three feeders front a 3-foot high rock wall which fronts the fence along the lot line.

There’s a fracas below, in what appears to be squirrel vs. squirrel quarrel, each protecting their feeding grounds.

The fracas continues. This time with a squeal. Not squirrel or chipmunk like.

Out of the rock wall, a rat, mid-sized, darts out to feed.

Out of the rock wall, another rat, mid sized, darts out to feed.

Out of the rock wall, a third rat, mid sized darts out to feed.

And then, out of the rock wall, a chubby, likely pregnant rat, 6 inches long excluding tail, darts out to join her family.

Chubby charges at the birds below the feeders clearing the way for her family.

Rat infestation.  Rats, disturbing the peace. Rats, a mere 30 feet from the house, planning to seek shelter next winter in the warmth of our basement.

I close the Kindle app. I was finishing an essay on “The Emotional Benefits of Getting Older” – and it’s punch line: “People at older ages had more positive emotions and fewer negative emotions, and their emotional experiences were more consistent.” But which age group was more emotionally solid and showed better mastery of their urges? “The people who experience the most emotional instability are in their 20s,” he said, a volatility that gradually declines with every decade.”

Once again, DK is off the page and well beyond the tail end of the statistical curve.

Man-child. Old-Man-Child.

F-*king Rats have got to go. Now.

I move the cursor into the Google Search bar, and type R-A-T T-R-A-P-S in Amazon Search Bar.

2 days shipping.

Backyard needs to be restored to order, Now.

Notes: Thank you Susan for video


  1. LAUGHING, the infamous battle of 2016. I remember that everytime I see a squirrel by a bird feeder.
    You still got it, DK! You still do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s not nice!! 🐭
    ‘In the Asian cultures Rats are considered auspicious symbols of good fortune in business. Rats are highly adaptable and relentless when trying to solve a problem (like finding its way out of DKs backyard!!) 😅Alternatively are you working too much and forgetting hearth and home?’

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Ok – I’m reading and smiling and nodding along with you, and then you throw in three ravenous rats and one heavy with baby rats and I stop. The urban child in me freaks silently as I remember a mutant rodent running through a subway car and my internal meltdown at the sight. It’s a visceral reaction – I’m sure that there are some really nice ones. I can’t go there. I hope they’re relocated really soon..

    Liked by 5 people

  4. i’ve noticed all of the animals coming out in droves, now that the humans have been mostly kept inside in droves. on daily walks, i hear much more birdsong than ever before. your battle royale, with squirrels and rats, continues….

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Here in Florida, the birdsong is drowned out by the peepers. Dear God, but this place is rife with frogs! I am trying to embrace it…it’s nature, the life cycle, all of that… but they are so *jumpy*, and they pop out of places right in your *face*. I came within one of tearing the door off our mailbox the other day when I leaned over to retrieve mail and a frog shot out. 🤭

    As for the rats, I’m with Mimi. I saw the beautiful finches, was being lulled into a real ‘Marlin Perkins’ moment and then, ‘Wait, what?! Isn’t that a RAT?!’ I respect Karen’s wisdom immensely, but I can’t bring myself to embrace rats. No sir, I can’t. Go get ‘em, pal!!

    Liked by 4 people

  6. Google said:
    Quote: In theory, a fertile female rat could have a litter averaging 10–12 babies every 3 or 4 weeks. She could have up to 17 litters in a year, so you could have 170 to 204 rats in a year! End Quote.
    Do you have that much organic bird seed, David?

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Time for the testosterone of yesteryear to find its way back into your veins. Do what needs to be done. Send them to a happier place and damn the “good fortune” thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It might be the cosmos’ way of saying, “Get a dog that barks, DK!” Yet, I think rats are scared off for only for so long. Good luck with their riddance. 😦 Oy, I’m sorry, DK.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Such a lovely video until… RATS!! Sorry, I am not of the ilk to say be kind and bring them to a happy place… unless you mean happy place is dead.

    We had a HUUUUUGE rat in our house way back when. My parents were on vacation and the day they returned (thank God) is the day my grandmother opened a drawer and it came jumping out. My father put out some kind of poison and the damn thing came to its demise in my closet. *shudder*. I am sorry, I have no kind words for rats and will never understand those who keep them as pets.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. OMG! Rats! I hate rats. We’ve had rats in our woodshed in the past, but the squirrels that have moved in seem to keep the rats away (so far). I hope that continues to be the case. If the rats come back, they will have to go to ratty heaven. Too much disease carried by them.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. *** shudders ***

    hope your plan goes well, but based on the stats listed by others above, it could take a while — eeks!


    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think it’s the high-tech bird feeder’s fault.

    And if you really were a man-child, you’d want to keep those rats as pets… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. We are rat-free in Alberta. Yup. No rats. Though we do have Rat Patrols. They scour the province turning invader rats back towards whatever provincial or Stateline they are attempting to cross to enter our rat-free haven. The Rat Patrol also keeps a close watch on dumps and landfills snuffing out any interlopers as soon as they’re detected. Last year they unearthed a colony at a landfill north of the city. Created quite the news frenzy. Lots of interviews with rat and wildlife experts. Lots of commentary on the history of rat-free Alberta with the prerequisite comments about the only rats in the province being the ones in political office and all that jazz…

    Your rats are really cute!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. In “The Sixth Extinction,” the author posits that it will be rats that will outlive all mammalian life on earth. I can imagine that to be true. As you can imagine, we have our share of them in Hawaii.

    Long runs. I get it. I took a Long bike ride this morning. Still the same 8-10 miles (I never clock it properly), but it was L-o-n-g. No energy, to begin with. Less when I got home. And rain most of the time, once I got far along enough ‘not’ to stop. Came home chilled and wringing wet.

    Strange days we’re living in. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Valerie Meluskey says:

    Re Rat terriers, remember to get two so they don’t get lonely.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You have your rats and i my squirrel. i have been trying to shoot him on the birdfeeded from the beddroom window, a distance of about ten feet. i have had about 50 shots at him with my airpistol, and missed every time! So he is alive still and i have crafted a willow barrier halfway up the pole. which actually works and was fun to make. Have fun with your traps, David. Or buy an air pistol and learn how to shoot it?


  17. Latecomers Kiki here: only wanted to send you this, but then I checked out missed posts st voilà…..
    The things to come and be prepared for! Lived the guy abandoning his motor bike to run….

    Liked by 1 person

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