The Rat

This is not my story to tell, but I am going to tell it anyways. And I shall pray that the concerned parties forgive me.

The concerned parties are my mother, my sister, and a small rubber rat. It was just a little gray rat. More of a mouse, actually. And it was realistic-looking enough on first glance.

I don’t know how they got started with the rat. I just remember that at some point in late elementary school, the rat became a special part of my sister’s relationship with my mother. Normal mothers and daughters go shopping and get pedicures. In our family, we hide rubber rats in an attempt to scare the bejeebers out of each other. Who needs new shoes when you can have a rat, right?

One night, Dad was at a meeting, and Laura and I had gone to bed when we heard a terrified bloodcurdling scream. I cannot describe the volume or scariness of that yell. My sister and I raced downstairs, certain we were going to find our mother dead in a pool of her own blood in the kitchen, or at least up on a chair cornered by a tarantula the size of a Labrador retriever, and found instead our dear mom doubled over in laughter with a very red face.

Earlier in the day she had decided to hide the rat in the pitcher of kool-aid in the fridge, with hopes that when my sister poured herself a glass the rat would fall out and scare her. Then she promptly forgot about the hidden rodent, and later that night got thirsty, went to the fridge, and took a swig directly from the pitcher. And there was the rat staring right at her with its evil beady black eyes.

Bahahahaha. And that is why we do not drink directly from the carton, children. We never know when we might nearly get our faces bitten off by scary plastic animals.

But that was not the only time my mom’s plans to terrorize my sister via the rat backfired.

My sister was in the fourth grade, and when she took a bite of the sandwich my mother had so lovingly prepared for her, there was the rat. In the sandwich. And it freaked poor Laura out so much that she started to cry.

She had a substitute teacher that day, who was appalled to find this poor little darling had been so terrified by such a mean prank. Indignantly she demanded to know who had been so cruel as to put a rubber rat in my sister’s sandwich. To which my sister replied through her tears, “It was my mom!!!

And that was the introduction that that poor substitute had to our family. A family whose mother puts rubber rats in her child’s food. The substitute, by the way, was my friend Tammy’s mom. You know, the mom who helped me, a year later, create The Corny Cafe. It’s a miracle she ever let us play together, ever. Maybe she was trying to protect me from the evils of my mother.

I’m sure there are other rat stories that ought to be told, but if so my family will have to tell them in the comment section. Like I said, the rat really isn’t my story to tell.


Why, hello, little friend. Allow me to introduce you to my children.

cackle cackle cackle

9 thoughts on “The Rat

  1. that’s such a cute story erin!

    it reminds me of the year after my dad left, for valentine’s day, mom didn’t have a valentine. so i gave her one of those candy hearts with words, only it wasn’t a normal little heart, it was a BIG heart , about the size of a quarter and it said “best friend” on it.

    a year later, on feb 14, my mom handed it back to me as a gift. i didn’t know she kept it. i ended up keeping it for a year and gave it back to her on feb 14 the following year.

    and so the heart-warming tradition went year after year for probably 10 years, it had developed mold and chipped but never fell apart. somewhere in life it became lost 😦 and we were terribly heartbroken to not be able to continue.

    the disgusting part is that we eat these things and they withstand years of coat pockets and dirty hands and wallets and still don’t fall apart??? yuck. LOL!!

  2. Haha, I love it. It’s fun when kids and parents can play together, as long as everyone gets the joke. 🙂 Looking back I’m not sure my mom always got ours…luckily, we lived! 🙂

  3. and now i know… why we are friends 🙂 this kind of stuff went on in my house ALL THE TIME. no one paticular rodent… anything was fair game. and my poor kids… they are suffering just the same. at first my hubby thought i was insane, but now he likes to play along! i loved the rat in the kool aid… but the rat in the sandwich at school is the best!!!

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