The Tale of El Raton! (the longest post of The Shakedown)

I had no idea such beasts existed. That is...the rat. But not just any rat. This was a hybrid of sorts. Part rat. Part small cat or something. I noticed several weeks ago upon opening our attic stair that we had come upon an unknown visitor. Several particles + particulate matter fell upon opening it. This visitor had attempted to eat through an entire box of camping gear (the packages of backpacking food probably led him there). Entire bags were eaten. A water filter. Plastic casing. Sleeping bag stuff sacks. You name it. This beast ate it.

The beast, El Raton, had declared war + I was in a fury. Rat poison was immediately purchased and dispersed throughout the attic only to find after a detailed google search that poison is the worst way to get rid of rats because they usually just die in unforeseen + unreachable places. After a week + more "pitter patter" sounds from the chimney, I knew I had to trap the beast. It was the only way. But was there a trap big enough?

For all I could tell a racoon could've been in our humble and small attic space. The thing sounded immense. I grabbed some peanut butter + set 4 traps thinking one per limb might do the trick. After a few days the "pitter patter" was back. I waited it out thinking the traps might serve their purpose, but after half an hour my patience was wearing thin. All I could hear were hideous sounds + the thought of this beast eating through more gear, or worse some old vinyl records I had carelessly placed in the attic, wore on my mind.

I decided to confront El Raton. It was time. The showdown + shakedown must commence. It was the only way. I grabbed a broom + the largest "stick" I could find. Before I knew it I was in the attic with a "flanking" device (the broom) in one hand + a 4"x4" pressure treated post/club in the other.

I could hear him. But I couldn't see him.

I grabbed some newspaper + threw it like a baseball in the vicinity of where I thought El Raton might be hiding. And I guessed correctly. For the first time my eyes had seen what I was up against. I wasn't ready for it. A beast so large that there were no words.

Disclaimer: Now I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared walking up the attic stairs in the first place. You see I hate shots. And the thought of this thing biting me brought to mind the images of really long needles penetrating (there you go Kate) my skin.

But I had him pinned so to speak. I knew he hadn't come in from the far right corner of the house so I tried my newspaper trick again. He scurried almost towards me, but behind the chimney. Now was my time. And I waited. Perhaps El Raton would forget in his tiny brain that I was there + I could crush him with Club de el Raton! I slowly approached the chimney. No sounds. The "flanking" device was merely a decoy then WHAM! I was going slam El Raton! Still no sound. I continued my approach. I could see him now. The "flanking" device outstretched I was ready for my move. Almost there. And BOOM!

El Raton made his last scurry! To the exit + he was gone. Vanished! I waited, but felt defeated. The traps had not worked, but I glanced at my last tray of poison. It seemed to have been tampered with slightly. Had El Raton taken some?

I waited longer for sounds + nothing. Went outside. Nothing. So I let the dogs out, opened a beer and drowned my sorrows. I went to let the dogs back in for their evening dinner only to see Tahoe (our Bernese Mountain dog) playing with something. She was barking and jumping around like an idiot (not unusual really) so I went out to see what could possibly have her (one of laziest dogs of all time besides Izzy) in such a fuss, and there lay...


In a daze I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Was he giving up? Had he really taken the poison bate + was just out of it? Had the gods looked on me with favor? Club de el Raton was on the porch. I'd have to go back to get it. I couldn't slay him. Images of another escape ran through my head. I ran back to the porch with much haste! Grabbed Club de el Raton + EL RATON! slowly fell to his side.

I couldn't believe it. This isn't happening. He's conceding. Is it really over?

Oh it was over alright and with all my might Club de el Raton slay the beast 40 times over + over + over. My fury was personified + my stress released. On this day, March the 2nd 2010 EL RATON! had been mightly defeated. My sorrows quickly turned into jubilation. Tahoe looked at me like I had just looked at her with eyes of utter confusion as her master jumped around the yard in pure happiness.

The battle was won.

Let's just hope that the war is over.



heanguy said...

This was way more exciting than Thermopylae or Manassas.

Anonymous said...

amazing! submit this to a newspaper immediately. An epic tale.

Ashley said...

Epic tale! While the story had me on the edge of my seat, I almost couldn't get through it because I was cringing at every mention of El Raton. Just the thought makes me skin crawl.