I would like to start by asking you all a question:
Would you help a rat in trouble? Would you worry about an animal that you would not wish to have in your house?
This is what happened to me and my family on our Christmas holiday in Helsinki, Finland.
It was a cold and snowy morning and we were getting ready to brush off from our car the snow that had fallen that night, when my sister yelled and scared away a swarm of magpies which flew up in the air but kept circling above us, until they decided we weren’t letting them continue their “game”.
On a pile of snow was a brown rat, a common “rattus norvegicus”, panting and shocked, with an eye that had bled all over the fresh white snow.
He looked at us and for a moment he tried to dig himself a tunnel in the snow but then he must have realized that we weren’t dangerous and he seemed to calm down.
For a moment we thought that maybe we should break the poor rat’s neck so he wouldn’t suffer anymore (no one liked the thought!) but then the little rat started to calm down. He lifted his nose up in the air, smelling us, trying to understand what we were.
We decided that we couldn’t leave him there, and so I ran to get a shovel and I lifted him to the other side of the road, at the foot of a tree trunk in the forest.
The rat was moving by now, and he jumped onto the tree trunk and climbed up a little. He seemed to understand that he was safe from the magpies.
We felt that we had done what we could for the little rat, but we kept thinking and worrying about him all day.
So… would you have helped that rat in trouble?