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We could not believe how much grain the fall lambs were eating. Not only were they cleaning out the trough quickly they were spilling the grain all over the place, even outside of the pen. Soon enough, though, the real culprit was revealed. I was out in the barn the other day finishing up chores when I saw a giant rat over by the feed (though based on its size it could have been a rain forest dwelling marsupial that had escaped from the Zanesville wild animal farm.)

Now I normally consider myself a fairly stout-hearted farm boy. Spiders don’t really phase me, snakes are no problem, and mice are almost cute, but this rat just about made me jump out of my skin. Yikes! It was terrifying.

After some further investigation, I found its lair — a large hole carved out beneath the cinder block barn side. I dropped some rat bait down the hole and hoped for the best.

A couple of days later, I was bedding down the  pen and my wife started screaming, “Get the pitch fork get the pitch fork!” I didn’t know what the fuss was about initially, but after following her very direct orders I held the pitch fork not really knowing what to do. Then I saw it. The straw was convulsing in the middle of the pen. It was as if the straw had become liquefied and there was a big bubble repeatedly rising to the top. Again, terrifying. I thrust the pitch fork into the melee with the form of a seasoned Spartan soldier, but only succeeded in sending the rat scurrying back off to its hole.

Two day later though, I would have my victory. Dulled by the new dietary supplement I had supplied, I spotted the dazed rat sitting by the side of the fence and quickly dispatched it, on my wife’s birthday no less. I was very proud of my accomplishment and was quick to inform my wife that there are not many husbands who get their wives such a freshly caught birthday dinner. She was grateful, but unimpressed.




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