An Honest Little Rat

in Stories

A big, fat, black rat lived in a sewer under a city full of people. In the colony of rats in the sewer, he was the hero. Other rats followed him.

Illustration: Neha Kumari

One sunny day, the black rat announced a cheese party. Everyone was invited, including a lean, brown rat, who didn’t talk much.

Where is the party?” the brown rat asked.

Everyone turned around in astonishment as they had never heard him speak.

In the big house by the corner,” the fat rat said.

In the evening, the fat rat led everyone through the sewer and then to the house. They entered the big house through its chimney. Once inside, the rats pounced upon the cheese stack kept in the store.

The cheese was delicious. The rats were praising the food and the fat rat’s ability to find the right place to eat. Except for the brown rat! He was quietly watching the onslaught. He didn’t eat a bit.

Why are you not eating?” asked the fat rat.

Illustration: Neha Kumari

This is stealing. How can this be a party?” he replied.

It was an unexpected response from a rat. They were rats. They steal. “How could a rat object to it?” he thought to himself.

You, too, will steal one day. There is no other way to life. This life is fantastic,” said the fat rat.

Seeing everyone enjoying the stolen food disheartened the brown rat. He immediately left the house and kept walking till he was a good distance away from the sewer.

When the rats returned after the party, nobody looked for the brown rat or talked about him in the colony. He was forgotten as soon as he was gone.

Time went by, but no one heard from him. Nobody had seen him since the party.

A year later, there was a huge storm. It destroyed everything that came in its way. People had to leave their homes for better places. Even for the rats it was getting difficult to survive as there was no food.

One by one, the rats also started to leave the sewer. The colony kept growing thinner until the fat rat realised that he was no more the hero. One day, he, too, had to leave for another town in search of food.

The new town had big houses. The fat rat knew there was enough food in there.

Using his skills, he sneaked into the biggest house and entered its store. But before he could steal a bite, he heard the door open.

The fat rat knew he had been caught stealing.

As he turned around, he was in for the biggest shock of his life. He saw the brown rat standing in the doorway.

Is this really you? Long time,” he said, surprised.

A sarcastic smile appeared on the face of the fat rat.

After all, you have learnt to steal food. Come, let me teach you some master tricks,” he said to the brown rat.

The brown rat smiled back.

No, I have not come to steal food,” he said. “I own this house.”

The fat rat could not believe what he had heard.

While you stole, I worked hard for a respectable life. Today, when the times are harsh, I am providing food to you.”

The fat rat did not have an answer. He was ashamed and could not look the brown rat in the eye. He quickly left the place and was gone.


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