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The rat
There is a rat in my home! I saw it lingering at night in my kitchen, put on the light it did not run away; sneak to the laver, held the soap between the forelegs, and started gnawing.
Hidden in my bedroom; I hear a voice. Was it his or theirs?
Closing my eyes, the voice take me to the past, I saw myself returning home late to find my two kinds waiting for me;
-

Mammy we are hungry!
The rat is lingering in my house; I too lingered for long, begged for their food, cloths, and books.
One of my neighbors said:
-

Believe me, you will not find any job. I did search long. You may know; my husbandís salary is enough for only six days. Come with me; one hour and you will get much money.
-

Is not it disgusting?
-

It is just mechanical job same as others.
I considered her advice, but I could not accept it. My tender memories prevented me. I still love my late husband.
The rat has turned something up-dawn.
If I leave a piece of cheese for it, would it come nearer? If I touch its head, would it look at me with love?
I feed them many years; dried their tears, their smile was true and promising; I did not ask for love, theirs was natural response to mine. Their shades still here, kids as they were. I want them out! Out of my home, of my heart. I wish I could forget that I delivered them into my life.
Is it possible to teach the rat something?
They studied at good school; I wanted for them a good future. When he was a little boy, he asked me to let him work, I refused, he must study to be a well-educated man, to have a good job, and to live with dignity.
My daughter finished her studies at high school, one day she came home joyfully, told me:
-

Mom, I will marry a rich man.
I was so happy, hold her between my arms, as usual she pushed me a little away, I did not believe! Even if she was pretty, but how it comes, that she will marry a rich man.
- Tomorrow, will go with him to the court and marry their, there will be no
party, no need for you to come. I will bring you the marriage paper to see.
I hear the rat lingering freely in my home. Would it bring its female to my home? Oh, no it is a terrible house.
I blessed her and she went, some times, she came to visit me, sat there in the corner, showing me her jewels, silently.
The rat too has no voice, or may be a very sharp low one could not be hear, I f I tried to speak to him, would he reply?
My son graduated, then found a job, when he got his first salary he bought new cloths for himself, no one had used before, he said:
-

I will move to live with one of my friends, I want to forget this place, I feel all people pointing at me.
Well for me, I want to forget that there is a rat in my home!
I still need to work, my legs became weak, cold weather causes me pain. I need to visit my daughter. Asked about her house, and went there, rang, a beautiful woman opened, may be she were mine, she flustered, asked me:
- How did you come! Afraid my husband would see you!
I left, did not cry, not to loose my way.
I used to beggar, food and clothes, but never for love.
I closed my eyes, trying to forget the rat in my home. If I begged for him it some cheese, would it remember me after?







------
najwanajati


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Comments

The following comments are for "The Rat"
by najwanajati

Rats and rats
Naj,

I read this earlier today and was going to comment then, but did not know what to say as the feelings it left me with were beyond words.

Yous style, continually 'knawing' at my senses by returning to the rat, the loss of the children by the character in the piece, the utter despair in it all, combine to make an exceptional write.

I do not often move into our friends the writers domain, but on this occasion I am glad I did.

Well done,

Ivor

( Posted by: ivordavies [Member] On: October 6, 2004 )

so glad
Dear Claire, Dear ivor,

so much glad to read your comments and to know I like my writting, really it is so encouraging and as English is my second language it means too much to me to have your comments
many thanks dears
Najwa

( Posted by: najwanajati [Member] On: October 14, 2004 )





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