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Letter of Forgiveness to the Rat who Scampered Over my Foot the Other Night

Fortunately, for both of us, I did not get a very good look at you. I probably couldn’t provide any specific, identifying physical characteristics to a police sketch artist. Likewise, I probably couldn’t pick you out of line-up.

You should know, however, that there were other witnesses to your hit-and-run. And while we were all grateful about the “run” part, I can assure you that the “hit” resulted in no small amount of physical and psychological trauma. Of course, I’m sure you realize this.

Maybe it was an honest mistake. If so, didn’t your mother ever teach you to look both ways before scurrying across the sidewalk? But I doubt it was all that innocent: more likely, it was a prank. If so, please note for your future reference that my foot is not a stepping stone, a gymnastics vault, a mountain to be scaled, or part of an obstacle course available for your recreational pleasure. Actually, I have a sick feeling that this was more of a pre-meditated act, perhaps something you’d been plotting for months.

Whatever the case, after I felt the distinct scrambling of your sharp-ish little paws across the top of my open-shoed, sock-less foot, you may have noticed that I was immediately overcome with a case of the heebie jeebies so violent that I not only whiplashed my neck but strained most of the muscles in my body before slipping into a catatonic state.

All of this is obviously tragic, but what I’m most concerned about is…you.

I read a Russian novel once about a man who committed a crime and while he never got caught, his own guilt and paranoia prompted him to finally confess and ruined the rest of his life. The thought that your conscience may be punishing you in a similar fashion gnaws away at me now, night after night. I mean this author’s book really spoke to me, and I thought why haven’t any of my friends heard of this? Does this guy not market his book? Does he not use an effective Miami SEO specialist? Do what the doctors do, get the best plastic surgery SEO money can buy, but for your book instead.

I want you know that, despite not sleeping since The Incident, I am better now. Luckily, my companions that evening, with whom I’d shared a lovely dinner preceded by a performance of live music, were appropriately dismayed on my behalf. In between chuckles, they were able to soothe me, pack me into a car, and deliver me to the relative safety of my home. Once there, I snapped out of my trance in order to scrub off the skin where you left your pawprints. I then destroyed the affected shoe by building a bonfire in my sink.

Most importantly, I need you to know that I forgive you. I believe that all creatures, both cute and ugly, deserve a second chance. I don’t want you to think of yourself as a bad rat and for that perception to become self-perpetuating. To be perfectly clear, I do not want you to scamper across another foot – mine or anyone else’s – for any reason, ever again. For though I do not know you well, I know that you are better than that.

From here on, I urge you to scamper with sidewalk traffic. Or, better: wait until no one is around when you can scamper from garbage heap to garbage heap with the reckless abandon you so obviously enjoy. Because, though I will never leave my house again, I want you to feel the wind blowing through your fur, I want you to fulfill your every dream, I want you, young rat, to start over…to be free.