Thursday, 26 March 2009

Rattus Norvegicus

Further to a recent comment here, it seems that Maesteg has only a fraction of the rat population that Flamborough does. "Locals reported huge packs – numbering 200 to 300-strong – blocking roads, swarming across gardens and bird tables and digging up grass verges. Cat flaps have been sealed, pets and children kept indoors. Flamborough has been dubbed Ratsville." Nevertheless, this article in the Independent magazine reckons we should learn to love rats, in spite of the diseases they carry.

"Many civilisations rather like rats. In India, the rat is the vehicle of Lord Ganesh, while at Rajastan's famous Karni Mata Temple, some 20,000 rats can be found. Many Hindus travel great distances to pay their respects to the kabbas, or holy animals, that guard the shrine, believing them to be reincarnations of the deity's tribespeople. In China, the rat is one of the 12 members of the animal zodiac. People lucky enough to be born in the year of the rat are said to qualities of creativity, honesty, generosity and ambition."

Its Linnaean moniker is misleading, by the way; the brown rat originated in Asia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From Fawlty Towers, Basil the Rat:

Well, of course it's a rat! You have rats in Spain, don't you - or did Franco have them all shot?


I'll put an ad in the papers. Wanted, kind home for enormous savage rodent. Answers to the name of Sybil.