This story started as a story for the March 22 Muse on Monday prompt but I decided to post it separately.
Choco the Raisin Woman
I hated all humans. They might be nice enough to each other, but every time they see me, they try to kill me. You can understand my feelings. Life is hard for a rat like me.
To be fair, most things want to kill me: cats, eagles, hawks, dogs. But at least they are doing it because they are hungry. Human just kill rats and throw them away. It’s a waste of protein.
I was just bedding down for the day in my little nest when I heard a creak and then a shriek as the big door on the side of the train was pushed open, and a wild-looking head poked inside. It was an old woman with stringy grey hair. She threw a bundle of clothes inside and then pulled herself up, leaving the door open.
I looked around sadly at the beautiful living space I had. It had been safe, warm and I had food for at least a week saved up here. Now this old woman would probably want to live here and would probably try to kill me.
I decided to call her Choco since, like chocolate, she looked harmless enough but could kill you if you got too close. Rats have to name everything in their world to keep everything straight. I don’t think cats do that. They seem kind of stupid.
Choco sat down on a net that was covering an old crate. She pulled out a handful of something and scattered them on the floor. At first, I thought they were turds but then I smelled them: raisins.
If a person gives you food, it’s probably poisoned because humans do everything opposite. If they don’t want you to eat something, it’s delicious. If they want you to eat it, it will kill you.
The woman lay down and went to sleep. I tried to ignore the raisins but the smell kept getting more and more delicious. I saw a cockroach come out and grab one of the raisins. That didn’t prove anything. Cockroaches could eat cyanide three meals a day and be fine.
But, in the end, rats are insane risk-takers. That is what has made us the most successful creature in the world, in my opinion. Even knowing something might be poisoned, it’s hard to resist taking the chance. So finally I ran out and grabbed a raisin and put it in my mouth. Then I stuck five more in until my cheeks were bursting and grabbed three more in my paws as I ran back. They tasted so good! You don’t want to know what I normally ate (although I do have names for it all, if you’re curious).
Finally, I lay in my nest, full and happy, and waited to die. I had seen rats die of poison before and it did not look fun. There was a lot of writhing around and foaming at the mouth.
I started to get sleepy. Ah, it’s that kind, I thought. It just puts me to sleep and I never wake up. Well, that’s not a bad way to go.
When I woke up, it was mid-afternoon. The woman was gone. I still felt a bit full from the raisins but otherwise fine.
It didn’t make any sense except that maybe the woman had not wanted to kill me. Maybe she was just nice. It didn’t make sense.
I went to the far wall of the train where I kept my diary. Rats’ lives are pretty boring so I only wrote interesting things, like the time I found the dead dog with the snake living in its nose. I scratched Choko womin gayv mee razins. I didnt dai.
It was such an unexpected thing that it changed the way I looked at the world from then on.
I still hate most human though.