Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Alright, let’s get the disclaimer out of the way; no animals were harmed during the writing of this post (although I can’t speak about afterwards).
I like to barbecue as much as the next guy. (I think it runs in our genes.) It had been a hot day and the thought of grilling hamburgers had filled my head for most of the afternoon. When I got home from work, I went right to the kitchen to begin the process of creating my burgers. This is not a food column, nor would I ever consider disclosing my secret recipe. Many have tried to duplicate it, and many have failed; let’s just leave it at that.
With raw, formed burgers on the platter and a matchbook in my hand, I stepped outside to my trusty grill. My anticipation was growing as I lifted the lid of the grill. But wait; something’s not quite right. There are some leaves in my grill. As I reach for the grill-top, I hear some rustling. This, I admit, catches me off guard and startles me. After a moment composing myself, I see that there is something that looks like a tail. It’s a long tail. I don’t yet see a body attached to the tail, but I conclude that it is not a mouse. No, this is something bigger; something that I know I am not going to be comfortable negotiating with.
Upon further examination, I see a bunch of pink things huddled together in the center of the leaves. I discover, after counting, that there are eight little baby rats in my barbecue. They are bright pink, eyes closed; apparently newly introduced to the world.
There is clearly only one thing for me to do. I plug in my George Foreman Grill. There is no way that I am going to be able to forcibly remove eight newborns and their protective mom. This situation will require some additional thought.
My youngest daughter starts up almost immediately, “Daddy, what are you going to do?”
“I don’t know, honey,” I answer. “What do you think we should do?”
“Can we keep them?” she asked.
You can hate rats, but still love a child’s innocence.