I added yet another to my tally yesterday. I seem to have become an expert at this. Armed with a broom and a plastic stick, I go about my job slowly. Tapping the stick around on the floor, sometimes poking it into corners, I? try to force out the prey. And when it appears, the broomstick is a good weapon. It spreads out near the front so as to increase the surface of impact. It’s sharp, and is likely to cause more pain. Just a couple of hits with it usually suffice, it seems.
The first time I killed a rat was some fifteen years ago. We had just returned home from somewhere when my mom ran out of the bathroom screaming. There was a rat in there. And my father decided that I should be imparted training. That day, there weren’t enough brooms to go around. I had one broom and a cricket bat. My dad used the other broom and some stick. And with some effort we had killed it.
My first independent kill was sometime when I was in twelfth, when my father was out of station. I was woken up at five am one day, not to mug for JEE but to enable my mom to cook my breakfast. There was a rat in the kitchen. And this time I was all alone. I think I had learned my lessons well. Two brooms and five minutes was all it took, as the rat lay dead on the kitchen floor. I don’t remember the details.
I’ve killed about half a dozen rats since then. Somehow in our house, mousetraps don’t work. Nor does rat poison. it’s as if all the rats wait to be killed by me. The one before yesterday was sometime last month. Or maybe a couple of months back. I was alone at home and was walking past the kitchen when I heard some jingling sound. Upon closer investigation the sound was from the plate underneath the kitchen sink. It sounded like a rat knocking.
There wasn’t enough time to search for broomsticks. It was only a plastic stick I found. Chased the rodent a little bit, but he was proving elusive. The stick even broke in a couple of pieces, but the now shorter stick gave me better control. And then in the middle of a dozen random hits, the rat collapsed. I had apparently hit it in some critical spot. It was dead. And gone. All that remained was for me to throw it out of the house.
Yesterday was different. It was an extremely slow-moving rat. It wasn’t good enough game, I must admit, and I even felt sorry for killing it. However, a rat is a rat and should be eliminated. This, despite being slow, wasn’t dying easily either. It took some ten hits with the old broken plastic stick before it stopped moving. It was like Mission Impossible 2. Whatever you did, the enemy didn’t die. I thought once that i had finished it, but then it started shaking a leg vigorously. The next time, it was another leg. And then it started wagging its tail, like a dog. I don’t think it was fully dead when I threw it out of the garden gate, on to the road, where some cat or crow was likely to find it.
I think I should add this to my CV. That i’m expert at killing rats. I’ll finish off the essay with a picture, one that I had taken a few months back somewhere in J P Nagar. And no, I hadn’t killed that one. Actually it’s gross. So I’ll just put the link. You can find it here.