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Saturday, March 3, 2012

If It Bites You, It's Good Luck

Err all my documents disappeared off my computer while I was trying to upload my videos.  Some of the documents included my blog entries about school in Bhutan.  It's taking time to rewrite my lovely first days of school here, but I'm trying to connect with an IT in the U.S. to help me retrieve them and also to get my videos uploaded.  I learned my lesson: back docs up daily! In the meantime I wrote this for fun.

An Acrobatic RAT!
This isn't the real acrobatic rat, mine is much bigger

Exhaustion had finally creped upon me, urging me to go to sleep early for just one night.  I couldn’t fight it anymore and decided to get ready for bed.  There I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom mirror thinking about how tired I was when I felt something touch my foot.  “Oh great, not another ghost incident,” was my immediate thought.  I looked down expecting to see nothing since ghosts are usually invisiable, but to my surprise I saw a huge, brown, matted ball.  I had to strain my eyes a few seconds before it moved and I realized it was a wild, rabies looking rat.  This rat was so fat it could have been pregnant with octuplets.  However, I feel that it has male energy so maybe it’s just obese.  It had a long nasty tail, a fierce triangle noise, and I discovered it was a special type of rat: an acrobatic rat.

This looks like an acrobatic rat
As soon as I realized that I was face to face with an enormous rat for the first time in my life, I did this weird galloping jump and my toothbrush went flying into the air.  At the same time a huge uncontrollable scream came out of my mouth along with all the toothpaste that I had accumulated while brushing.   I was actually choking at this point, but my gargled screams were still making its way out through my thick mouthful of toothpaste.  This scared the rat and he jumped a few feet high too while doing some olympic summer saws.  He was so springy that he would leap into the air doing these amazing triple backward flips that caused him to fly into my legs, which would make me jump even higher and shreek louder.  It was quite a dance we were doing.  I was scared of him and he was scared of me.  I jumped, he jumped.  I screamed, he squilled.  The funny thing was that we were both too startled to run and we kept jumping around.  After what seemed like an eternity of awkward dancing, he ran into a corner and I ran as fast as I could to the kitchen all while choking on toothpaste.

In the kitchen, I stood there shaking and my heart was pounding.  I was hoping that one of my neighbors would have heard me screaming and would soon come to rescue me.  Unfortunately, no one heard me.  I started to laugh at myself because I thought that if they did come, I would look like a “toothpaste vampire” panting with toothpaste dribbling down my mouth and off my chin. 

Finally, I had calmed down and was thinking, “How in the world was I going to go back in the bathroom with a jumping rat in there?”  Then just when I started to talk myself into believing that it was a cute little mouse that was terribly scared of me, the dang fat rat ran into the kitchen, had one look at me and we started round two dancing.  After a minute of further jumping and screaming, he ran into the corner near the door.  Now I sat perched up on the cement counter pleading with the rat to go away.  I begged, “Please go away, plleeeaaassssee…”

Either he understands English or hates my whining because he started to inch his way out of the kitchen and paused in the hallway looking at which way was his best option.  I yelled, “Nooo, not the living room,” which leads to my bedroom and there was no way I wanted to share my room with the world’s only Olympic rat.  I yelled, “Go right, in the empty spare bedroom, you can have it, I will never go in there again, please take it, just don’t go in my bedroom, oh pretty please with cheese on top.” 

I swear to you, this rat looked back at me with a devilish grin and ran straight into the living room under the door curtain so that I had no idea where he made his way to, such as my bedroom.  I sank with a heavy sigh knowing that he probably ran into my room and that we would be dancing all night.  I went back into the bathroom with a broom just incase he wanted to come back for round three and I could use the broom to shew him off.  I looked at myself in the mirror and sure enough my face was covered in minty toothpaste including strands of my hair that were now glued to my face with toothpaste.  Then I angrily found my toothbrush in the squatter toilet.  I had no energy to hunt down a rat.

All the way to my bedroom, I loudly tapped the broom on the ground in hopes that he would hear me coming and find a place to hide to end the square dancing.  With my protection broom I looked under my bed from across the room, hoping that I could shew him out, shut my door and sleep in peace.  However, he was nowhere in sight.  Of course I wasn’t brave enough to look behind the dresser.  I climbed into bed wondering if he would do his acrobatic jump onto my pillow to kiss me goodnight, I mean nibble my face off.   

Such a long tail & triangle nose
In the middle of the night, I could hear him rumbling behind my dresser several times.  Every little noise caused me to jump, even a moth scared the crap out of me because I thought it was him flying into the room.  After all, he is an acrobatic rat.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep and I am now beyond exhaustion.  Also, getting up in the middle of the night to pee was the worst.  I prayed that he wouldn’t tap my foot again to say hello and jump on my legs for a midnight snack.  I took my broom with me tapping all the way.  I had the same routine in the morning.  The next day after school, I told the other teachers about the gigantic rat being bigger than a kitten and about its record breaking jumping abilities, but no one seemed to believe this and they all laughed.  I asked them to come over to catch it, set it free in the forest, and to plug up its entryway into my house.  This is were the conversation got really interesting and I had to ask them to re-explain it to me several times because it had me in bewilderment. 

Revengeful Bhutanese Rats!

First, they all told me to leave it alone.  It was no big deal!  They explained that if I was mean to the rat, I would make it angry and that’s where my problems would begin.  What problems?  They warned me that rats have feelings just like humans, so if they get mad at you, they might come back with their friends when you’re not home to destroy your possessions.  They will eat your favorite clothes, ruin your electronic cords, put holes in your rugs, poop everywhere, and so on.  Revengeful Bhutanese Rats!  I’ve never heard of rats doing “pay backs” on people.  I started to worry if I pissed off the rat by screaming in its face.  I wondered if the rat was in my house at that very moment tearing up my most prized possession in an attempt to pay back this frighten American who cried, “RAT!”  

My Bhutanese friends gave me a solution.  They suggested that I give it a name and whenever I see it, I should call it by the name, talk nicely to it or just ignore it.  Some of my coworkers leave crackers out for their “house rats” so that the rats leave their vegetables and clothes alone.  One of my friends said that she scattered tons of rice on the floor for them when she went away for several weeks and asked the rats to take care of her place while she was gone.  When she came back, she discovered that they had a huge party by the amount of rat droppings they left, but they didn’t destroy her stuff.  Keeping the rats happy by bribing them is a solution instead of killing them.  Most Bhutanese people practice the Buddhist philosophy of living a compassionate life and not harming living things.  It’s a sin to kill a rat or any living creature.  Therefore, just like with the stray dogs, they live with the mice/rats in peace.  I haven't seen any places that sell rattraps or rat poisons to kill rats like we have in America. 

Rats have a bad Rep in America
It’s not uncommon to be sitting in a home in Bhutan and see a mouse scurry by and no one freaks out.  In America, if a woman see’s a mouse in her home, she might scream like she’s being murdered and head to the nearest store for mouse traps.  I also know some American men that would also scream like a girl if they saw a rat.  In fact, I’ve seen some hysterical videos on “America’s Funniest Videos” of people screaming their heads off seeing a rat in their home.  I don’t know what it is about these little creatures that can scare a person.  Lately, I have been thinking about what caused me to act the way I did in the bathroom with Templeton (my rat’s new name from Charlotte's Web) and why I had been tapping my broom around like a crazy person.  I’ve come to conclude that for the most part American’s view of mice/rats is different from Bhutanese views of rats.  I was taught that a rat is a nuisance, dirty, disease-carrying rodent and should be exterminated if it moves in your home.  This belief is filed somewhere in my brain.  Therefore, when I see a rat, the file magically appears and the chaos begins.  Although this is what I have been brainwashed to believe for three decades, in my heart I don’t want to kill the rat and I think that the Buddhist philosophies are more in line with my values. 

Now at the age of 29, I’m living in Bhutan and I’m trying to reprogram my beliefs about mice/rats to adopt a more Buddhist approach, which I love.  I’m telling myself not to be scared of them, if they come in for a visit just ignore them and don’t scream or run around in fear.  Instead I will say, “Hello pretty Timpleton” (remember I named the dang rat) and I'll remember whatever I do  DON’T PISS OFF THE RATS.  However, I will not feed them because I don’t want them to keep coming back and then get all revengeful on me the day I forget to feed them tea and crackers.  I don’t have a lot of stuff here, so it’s easy to keep my place clutter free and I have no goodies for them to eat (it’s all locked in my fridge including spices and all my clothes are out of reach).  So I’m hoping they won’t have any reason to come other than to say hello.
She dropped them off on the other side of the river...

If It Bites You, Its Good Luck

Later on that day, my friend confessed to me that last year she trapped a bag of rats from her home and dropped them off on my side of the river because they won’t cross the cold water to get back to her house.  She thinks that my fat rat is one of hers and I’m thinking about catching him to give him back to her as an early Christmas gift.  Ha-ha.  I think that she felt guilty or sorry for me because she was the only one who helped me find out how the rat got in.  We checked everywhere, but we couldn’t find any rat holes and my bathroom drain has a tight mesh over it.  Finally, she gave me the worst news about the rat’s entryway, which was through my front door.  The good news was it also left through the front door.  Yes, there is a huge gap under my door for creatures to squeeze through, such as snakes and mice.  It’s like my front door is a 24-7 open invitation for any critter to come in.  I’m not quite sure how I am going to fix it, but it’s on the top of my list.  As I pouted about the front door, my friend tried to make me feel better and told me that if the rat bit me above my waist, it means that I would have good luck.  On the other hand, if it bit me below the waist, then I would have bad luck.  Holy moly, I don’t want it to bite me anywhere, even if it will bring me good luck.  
This could be good luck!
Fortunately, I haven’t seen the rat again and I don’t hear him scurrying around my house at night.  I’m hoping that my “toothpaste vampire look” or the weird dancing scared him off for good and he won’t come back with a gang of friends to “pay me back” in any way.  My new Buddhist attitude is starting to kick in slowly and I no longer peek from room to room with a broom for unnecessary security.  Ok, maybe sometimes I take the broom with me when I take a bath in my red tub, just in case it gets thirsty or frisky.  However, I know that the real test on my new Buddhist ways will come when we meet face to face again.  I will keep everyone posted because I’ve been told that having mice/rats in my home is unenviable.  It’s only a matter of time before I might dance again with Templeton, the acrobatic rat.  Sigh!





23 comments:

  1. Oh Sabrina, in such a funny way there, seems to be things that are happening to you that, I have had similar experiences. I hated to laugh because I am so afraid of mice, not the least to say about rats. You made it sound so hilarious I just had to laugh and I laughed hard.
    You must have been terrified. I know I would have died. I am deathly afraid of mice, rats, cucarachas, spiders, anything that crawls I am deathly afraid of it.
    This brings my memory back about the time I mentioned I was in Mexico and that I had to use the bacinilla to go to the restroom and as you mention to go pee and I pulled out the bacinilla and there was a good size mouse in it. I jumped,screamed danced a Jarabetapatillo. Everybody could here me down at the corner, the neighbors came running to see what had happened. All Jose could say was that it was a "mouse."

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    1. That is so funny and I am so glad that I am not the only one who acted terrified of a rat. I like that your dance was Jarabetapatillo. At least your neighbors heard you and I can imagine their reaction when they found out it was just a little mouse lol. It's funny how we are so scared of them and it doesn't phase some people. Thanks for your comment. It was very refreshing. Join my blog please!

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  2. Sabrina, I have to ask you I'm not trying t scare you but what would happen if a snake crawled into your room?
    The reason I ask I have a story on that one to. I will wait though to hear you first.
    I'm trying to post a pic so that when you do blog back to me you will know who you're blogging to.
    I'm not computer sabby.

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    1. OMG if a snaked crawled into my room, I would probably faint. I have been thinking about this and sometimes I wonder if there is a water snake in my squatter toilet that might bite my butt lol. Fortunately, it's so cold here in Bumthang that there are no water snakes and everyone tells me I won't see a snake here because it's just too cold. This makes me feel much better. I rather sleep with a rat any day than a snake. What's your story? When you join the blog, most computers let you take a pic of yourself and then you can have that pic as your member profile (it's in the upper right corner of this blog). Good Luck, I'm not computer savvy too.

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    2. Hello Sabrina, I'm thinking that it may be Morning where you are at.I'm still up I'm, waiting for my son to come home. He went out for a while and he may have met up with Stephanie & Terrance because they seem to have been going to the same place. BJ's.
      Now I will tell you about my experience with a baby rattle snake.The day before we went fishing at the San Joaquin River somehow this baby rattle snake must have hitched a ride back on the truck. On Sunday afternoon my husband was tired and decided to take a nap. I was sitting in the frontroom by myself with the door opened and my brother-in-law comes in the house and asks me"Carolina, I bet you don't know what I just killed" and like I'm so afraid of mice & rats I, answered a mouse He, said no I said a rat, the answer was no. He went back outside and told me to come close to rthe door. I did he, then showed me this baby rattle snake dead.I still screamed I, woke Jose up I was actually terrified. All evening and days after that all I could think 'what if it would have came inside the house. I could not get it off my mind for the longest. I didn't leave the door opened for a long,long time.

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    3. OMG baby rattlesnakes are scarier than adult rattlesnakes because when they bite you they release more venom into your body than adult rattlesnakes. If I find a snake in my house, I'm moving lol. Thanks for that story, I like it. Are you related to Gloria?

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  3. Sabrina, I just want to tell you that I think you are an amazing writer!
    The story about your dancing rat is hysterically funny and also very very wise in this charming subtle way. I hope you recover all of your previous blogs and please do back up- do not know if you have access to mozy.com or other remote backup services or if you can get an external hard drive or just do it the old fashioned way and print out the blogs....
    because you have a book here...i can feel it!

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    2. Evanne that just made my day coming from a writer like yourself. How is your book, "Firefly Nights" going? I have so much fun writing these blogs and it's become my new hobby. I never went to school to be a writer, so I am always worried my writing isn't so great. Thus, your comment gave me some needed confidence. Thanks and I'm honored that you have taken the time out of your very busy schedule to read my blog. And Aslama is probably happy too. Wink Wink. My school blogs are so much more fascinating and I hope to get them back asap. I'm in contact with an IT in california who is going to help me and I will start backing them up on my external hard drive. Thanks for the helpful information. Have a great day!

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  4. Sabrina I will ask your Tio Steve or Mija Michelle to help me tomorrow. I have one posted on FB.Somehow I have so much on my computer I can't find my pictures.I'm on my laptop because it has morer space. I have pretty much maxed outall my harddrive space. I have to buy an external Harddrive. You probably have seen me at rthe get togethers at your Uncles events that they have had. Talk to you soon.It's is almost time for me to go to bed.I'm watching Grey Anatomy and my son just opened the garage door. It's nice talking to you.

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    1. Oh yes, I just seen this post and I know who you are now. GREAT! WELCOME! Tell them that I said Hi!

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  5. What's up Brine? I'm seeing if this works.

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  6. Cool story Brine, you write good. It was like I was reading a story in a book. I guess people over there have a different mind set about things. Pretty cool. The girls say hi!

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    1. Thanks Santos! Tell the girls I said hi and make them read my blog for their school reading log lol.

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  7. Sabrina I could just imagine you screaming with toothpaste on your face and being so scared . You probably scared that rat so bad he was doing high flips. When I read your blog I was laughing . You know I love you and I don't want anything bad to happen to you. But I have to say it was funny .Love your mom cindy

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    2. Thanks Mom! I would love to see your reaction if a rat tapped your foot lol. I'm laughing just thinking about it.

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  8. Its sounds so funny but yet scary.I dont like mice either but they are of afraid of us to.But be careful of them you need to protect yourself first.Its late but Im stil up you know how that is.About to have tea and was thinking of you.Enjoy going to your house when you skyb and just listening to the conversation.Keep writing its very enjoyable.Love you and take care.

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    1. Thanks Tia! I'm always happy when your there to Skpe, especially since you are a better translator for grandma than my dad.

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  9. You are not going to believe this but a few days ago my coworker showed up to school with 2 rat bites on her face. While she was sleeping a rat bit her forehead and cheek. She had to go to the clinic and get some "rat" shots. Her cheek is infected and swollen. Well at least she has good luck now since she was bitten above her face.

    Then my neighbor told me that while she was sleeping 2 rats ran across her face. This news has scared me all over again and now I am back to peering into rooms, especially since Thempleton has been sneaking into my house at night and eating my soap bar. Yikes!

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  10. Dad says you need to find out were he is coming in and block it off.He hopes the rat does't bite you .And your mom is not mother dearest! Ha Ha

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  11. Hey Brina...Those are some crazy rats..bella said "she loves those rats..there sooooo cute"...stephen and marcus said "how do you live with those beasts?"...and marcus said he wants to come and visit you and explore the village.... We all love your red hot tub too...Hope all is well miss you lots.....Vanessa,bella,stephen,marcus

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  12. AWE thanks Ness for sharing it with the kids. That is so funny that little Bella loves the rats lol. That made my day. Send Stphen and Marcus here to go to school with me so their teachers can give them spankings when they are bad. Ha ha. The kids will love my next blog because my rat came back and has been very bad...

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