by In All Our Years
The points of the slivered crescent moon looked up into the night as stars in waning conversation, casually looked toward the earth. An odd man, dressed in striped pajamas walked on wet grass below them. He was carrying a large spear, made of Bamboo and an old saw blade and, of course, a hot, creamy cup of coffee.
“How odd is this Dear Stars?”, the moon whispered.
The stars simply twinkled and paused not finding words to reply.
The man thought to himself, “How in the world did I find myself walking in the wee hours of the morning, on a Volcanic Island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, hunting for rats?”.
In the distance, the nocturnal creatures were finishing up their day, saying goodbye to their friends and heading back to the attic of the house. The house of the artist, who danced with the flowers and kissed them now and again.
As the man found his way to a secluded spot, the sun barely starting to peer over a distant curve which covered wonderfully cool and salty water, sent soft rays toward the horizon. A horizon which silhouetted several black wires. Wires that powered several dwellings, including the house of the artist. Perhaps she was sound a sleep after a creative evening of this and that.
The spear was not for taking life, but to block the entrance into the attic. The man gingerly wedged it into a small corridor. A corridor used by the nocturnal rats. It did not fit exactly right, but was a start to see what would occur.
As he sat and sipped his coffee, he watched the light grow. And soon with the silence of a meteor in the night sky, a creature scurried with such speed and agility over black wires from down the road, toward a telephone pole. Then, quickly taking a left turn to the one wire that connected the pole to the attic, scrambled on and over to the building where the artist slept. Stopping briefly to navigate up an angled two by four, and then effortlessly defying gravity up a thin rafter and into the small corridor where he was greeted by family and loved ones.
“Ah yes the man thought”, they clearly get in through here. He watched as two, three, four and five of them came over the same wire, up the wood and into the attic, jumping over the blade, inconveniently wedged into the small space.
Their happy family started to stir, run and patter all over the attic ceiling, waking once again the tired artist, now distraught from similar events of the prior days.
The odd man thought, pondered and soon a plan and next events were brewing. The stakeout would continue.
On the next day, the man rose to find rain, soaking into the land surrounding his island home. With half an hour before the light of day, he found motivation to rise and dress and head out to the wires. The small plastic and metal roadway’s that would be traveled soon, by his four legged one tailed friends.
He found a ladder and broom and a piece of rope. When they would return, and he knew they would, he would tie the rope to the wire and shake it and maybe they would fall or leap. If not, the broom would be used to swish them off.
His eyes adjusted to the darkness and slowly, but surely, the dim of the night faded. With his hand on the rope, he patiently waited. His eyes were keen and his breath soft and steady. The low light of the morning started a stir and yet, still unable to see, but low and behold, his hand felt a pull, like a fish on rod. A rat had stepped onto the wire and was approaching.
A quick pull and tug would bounce the little critter up and down and soon, he heard a thump into the soft ground below, blanketed from leaves of a waiting banana patch.
The game was afoot. As the light grew stronger, one and then two would arrive, step on the wire. With the now ample light and able to see, the man tugged on the line and the rides began. One, two, three little flying rats, thump, boom, bang, onto the ground below.
They did not know what to do. Another arrived and saw its flying friends and decided waiting on the back of the pole would be best, looking around to see if the wire would stop moving.
And then from up and high in the attic, a waiting mate came out to see why her companions were late. It was not like them to not come home. Something was up.
The man waited and the light became full. The nocturnal rat, stuck on the pole, trying to get to the wire, finally disappeared, perhaps finding a hole to sleep in, considering of course, how to deal with the odd man in the striped pajamas.