Jump to Navigation

Naming a Rat

My initial rat reaction definitely included revulsion, but through this experience, has certainly been modified. None the less, it was already apparent that others were not, perhaps, so open. The effects of our cultural portrayal of rats is extensive. For example, to show that an alley is dangerous and vile, like in a movie, odds are that there will be skittering rats with perhaps glowing red eyes. Rats are one of our primary symbols of filth, gluttony and pestilence.

I have a very sweet older neighbor, who is also very Christian. She strongly believes in being peacefully loving and accepting of all living things, and advocates for that behavior in others. As an example, one day I was re-adjusting some of my vegetable plants and, wanting to get rid of the pepper plants, began pulling them out. “Oh no - you can't do that!” she exclaimed, “They’re God’s creatures!” I gave her the pepper plants.

cartoon image of dark villainous-appearing rats with huge teeth She’d been having some health issues, and so with my tiny young rodent in hand, I thought I’d go visit and ask about the doctor appointment I knew she’d had earlier that day. Soft, fluffy and super cute little baby Eek would certainly charm her and cheer her up! However, her response to seeing me at her door, holding tiny Eek in one hand, was pure and nearly violent revulsion. Though I introduced Eek as my pet, and tried to explain that she is very clean and sweet, over and over my neighbor sputtered agitatedly “That’s disgusting!”, kept the screen door firmly closed between us, and emphatically wouldn’t talk to me until I “got RID of that THING!”, advocating more than once that I should go “flush it down the toilet”. So much for all of God’s creatures…

My Aunt, cousins and friends contributed lots of fun ideas for naming the newest little rodent: Bone Crusher; Fang; Snarl; Squeal; Squeak; Forklift; Plague; Great Scourge of the World; etc. However, I kept having visions of approaching my poor neighbor, with my new little rat in hand, with a “Hey! Say hello to Bone Crusher…” and watching her faint. The new rat definitely needed an innocent, non-threatening yet playful name. And so she became Scribble.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.

Main menu 2

Blog_post | by Dr. Radut