The Two Rats

One fine moon light night, my father was leaning over the bulwark of the ship he then commanded, when he noticed a rat running swiftly along a ledge outside of the vessel and just below a partly open porthole. As the animal was passing through the opening to the deck, it dislodged a little prop, and the port closed suddenly. The body of the rat was safely through, but the tail was caught midway, and the creature securely trapped thereby. The rat wriggled from side to side, vainly trying to seize the tail between its sharp teeth. Finding its efforts to disengage itself were useless, it began to squeak pitifully.

Almost immediately another rat appeared, and took in the situation at a glance. Without a moments hesitation the new-comer began to bite through the imprisoned tail, and in a short time, he severed it, bone and all, and released his friend. The rat operated upon did not utter a sound whilst the amputation was going on, and as soon as it was completed the pair trotted off together.

Source: The Girls Own Paper 1880 - 1881















Dear Stuart:

  Reading your article on pest birds brought to mind and incident that occurred at the Boeing Co. final assembly plant located in Renton, WA. Circa 1980.

    The summer was unusually warm that year and as a result the large factory doors were opened each morning allowing a cool breeze off lake Washington to help reduce the temperature in the building. The doors were left open all day and well into second shift only being closed near midnight. Now and then a pigeon was noticed flying in and out of the building but not much attention was given as few droppings were noted and it appeared the pigeons were doing no harm. After a few weeks had passed the employees that install the interior panels noticed some small insects on the parts. No one in the factory could identify them so a few were delivered to the University of Washington where they were identified as "Pigeon Mites". For some reason, only known to the pigeons, the area in the roof structure directly over the interior panel storage area was a particularly desirable nesting site and the mites were falling from the nests onto the parts below. When the employees learned they were mites it seemed everyone had and itch. The women employees were concerned that they might be falling into their hair resulting in more frequent trips to the restroom. Boeing management always concerned with efficiency and production schedules contacted a local pest control firm to resolve the problem. Within just a few days no more pigeons were seen flying in or out of the building and the nests were removed my maintenance personnel. It is unknown how the pigeons were eliminated but a sick pigeon, unable to fly, was seen on the ground outside the building. Only a handful of pigeons were involved but a noteworthy event of pest control. No animal rights group was ever aware of this happening.





















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