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All God’s Creatures….

February 19, 2011,
Claire Montanaro

They say that, wherever you live, you are never more than six feet away from a rat. There is some truth in this generalisation!

Here in my rural sanctuary we have, until recently, only once seen rats, when my cat discovered a nest of rats somewhere in the garden and, being an ex farm cat, despatched all the babies with ease and rapidity (though I rather wish he had not left them lined up under the kitchen table for me to admire the next morning).

So, my experience with rats has been limited. Yesterday, however, as I walked around one of our ponds, I noticed something in a clump of water mint, and when I netted it I discovered it was a large brown rat, dead for a day or so and probably chased into the water by a fox or an otter. As I looked at it closely I was able to see it, for the first time, for its beauty and for its grace - not, I know, characteristics normally associated with rodents. It caused me to think about its life and its death, reminding me that there must be a number of rats living here quietly, never bothering us but co-existing unobtrusively with nature and dying as part of nature’s cycle of life and death, predator and predated.

I remember seeing, when I was in Tibet, rats running about the monasteries quite openly and fearlessly, for the Buddhist monks will never kill any living thing. That might be a step too far for me and if I discovered rats in my home I would, with great reluctance, need to deal with it - or perhaps my cat would do it for me once again. It is so easy to have a knee-jerk reaction to “vermin”, but I hope, now I have learned to see rats in a new light I will be able to do what is best for all of us. They are welcome to enjoy my garden while, hopefully, respecting my boundaries!


Claire Montanaro is a spiritual teacher, channel and blogger with special interest in esoteric philosophy and the world in transition. Loves nature and wildlife. Author of "Spiritual Wisdom”.

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