From American Thinker:
December 18, 2011
By Rob Miller
Once, there was a man who had to deal with rats when he had a major infestation in his home.
The rats’ normal environment became unable to support them all, and they began coming down from the hills looking for new digs… and decided they liked the man’s house. They were perfectly happy to hunker down in the attic, garage and basement with free access to the goodies in the kitchen and pantry. And once they had moved in and saw what rich booty was to be had, they were determined to take over.
At first the problem wasn’t evident. The man would see an occasional rodent scurrying around in the basement, and being a live and let live sort, it never bothered him too much.
As more and more rats began showing up, their presence became much more noticeable. The man made an effort to understand the rats and their needs. The thought even crossed the man’s mind that he and his neighbors, by living in the area, owed it to the rats to try and coexist peacefully. After all weren’t they entitled to live on the planet too?
The man talked to a local expert on rats, who owned a pest control business. The expert warned him that he had to get rid of the rats now, and act decisively when things were at an early stage, or he would be faced with a major problem in the future. The man listened politely, but thought ‘well, this guy has his own agenda…after all, he makes his living scaring people about rats. I don’t see it as any kind of major problem yet…nothing that can’t be handled.’
So he tried what he thought was the most compassionate way out, taking bread and putting it out in the fields, figuring that the rats would be satisfied with that and leave. No luck..having learned to enjoy the basement and access to the goodies in the pantry and the kitchen within, they weren’t content to scrounge in the fields any more. Next he tried purchasing a number of those electronic gizmos that claim to drive rats away using high frequency sound. Not only didn’t they work, but the rats became even more blatant and bold. The high-pitched electronic sound drew them like an Islamic prayer call or a rock concert.
And as the rats became more bold, they began coming into the house at will. And their numbers continued to increase.
It was pretty obvious that they had nothing but contempt for the man and that they considered his house to be their house. Aside from the unsightly droppings they left as calling cards, they would raid the cupboards and attack boxes of cereal, bread, sacks of cornmeal and flour, bags of chips or anything else they were capable of getting into. And as this went on the man learned a few things about rats. They’re essentially parasitical and create nothing except more rats. They aren’t interested in co-existence. They’re extremely territorial and demanding, and they have no understanding or appreciation of anyone who isn’t a rat, nor do they care to. Give them a foothold, tolerate them in the least, and they’ll cheerfully take over. Their agenda is surprisingly uncomplicated.
So the man started to become more uncomfortable with the rats and gave some serious thought to getting rid of them somehow. But he wasn’t the decisive sort, and it was more complex than it seemed at first. For one thing, his kids, brainwashed by years of propaganda at the local public school and cartoons showing rats as cute cuddly creatures objected to his efforts. Why can’t we just live with the rats? they said. Maybe we can keep them as pets. They have a right to live too, and they don’t cause any trouble…why are you so against them? Do you have some kind of rat-phobia?
That lasted until their pet parakeet was killed and savaged by the rats in its cage, and one of the youngest children was bitten at the breakfast table by a rat boldly trying to get at her food.
After that, the children realized that they had been somewhat…misinformed, and they weren’t so supportive of the rats anymore. And the man finally realized that if the rats had gotten that confident and aggressive, it was time to take action.
After thinking it over, he figured that his choices were to continue to ignore the problem and play host and provider to a bunch of rats, to move out, or to eliminate the rats. He finally realized at long last that appeasement or pretending there was no problem was a dead end; it was simply getting worse. The rats had no respect for him, his home or his efforts at peaceful co-existence. So the man decided on some kind of elimination as the solution.
He thought about poison, but realized that trying to poison the rats en masse would lead to unexpected consequences when they died in between the walls or in the attic and began to smell, not to mention the danger to his family. There was no sense fouling his own nest. And it would do nothing to permanently solve the problem, since more would just move in, and he would be faced with the same problem all over again. No, to really finish something like that once and for all, he needed to mount a determined campaign, with a rat free environment as the goal. He had no desire to be unnecessarily cruel, but he knew he needed to make sure that the rats got the message that they were not going to take over his home and that they needed to return to the fields they had come from. And he understood that he could no longer afford to be afraid to do what was needed. Not if he wanted to keep his home.