By Jim Thompson interpreting for Fos the Rat
Since last year, the Great Mother has passed on to Rat Heaven and we have a new cadre in charge. The word came out early in the year that we will be convening in a big city on a big lake in the middle of the country.
There is a lot of pulp and paper business there and so many rats live fairly close at hand. It is about 40 lights from where I live, so I knew I would have to find a BTI (remember, this is a car or truck--Jim) to get there. We were all to meet in a warehouse on the south side of the city.
The last BTI I caught was making good progress. We were on a very wide road, going really fast. The Big Thing driving it turned and was taking me near where we were to meet. All of a sudden I heard some strange sounds...sort of like something whizzing by the BTI. Suddenly the BTI swerved and hit a tree.
Luckily, I was not hurt and jumped off. I scurried to the front of the BTI and the Big Thing was slumped over. Blood was pouring out of his head. I have a policy other rats may not follow; I leave the bodies of the Big Things alone. There was not anything I could do, so I moved on.
It was only about 50 quivers to our meeting place, so I arrived in short order. Many other rats had already gathered there. Everyone was very excited; many had had a difficult time getting to this place. There were other reports of rats hearing whizzing things and at least three rats had gotten holes from the whizzing things and had died.
The cadre announced they were going into executive session and would report back shortly. We were all afraid. The secretary of the cadre came out and told us there would be an announcement at the next light. So, we all found a place to spend the dark time.
It was a very disturbing dark time, lots of noises, lots of whizzing noises and we could hear Big Things off in the distance yelling and screaming.
The next light, the cadre called us together. The new Great Mother jumped up on a block and addressed us.
"Fellow rats," she said. "As you know, we rats are used to tough circumstances and difficult places. However, your cadre has decided this city is far beyond our usual domiciles. Even the local rats are thinking of leaving. We have therefore decided to abandon this place and move to a safer one. It is about four lights southwest of this city in a town with one paper mill. We'll give you extra time to get there, so let's plan on meeting there on the morning of the sixth light."
Wow! I thought I would never see a day when a city was too dangerous for rats! But apparently, it has come. I started off. I decided to quiver along for a while. I was nervous about the BTI's here. Besides, it seemed as though the whizzing things were a little higher than me, so I decided to stay low and get out of this place.