The Power

by Ron Van Sweringen

The rat came every day, taking its place before Nora on the damp stone floor. The drabness of the rodent's coat melded so well with his surroundings that he sometimes disappeared even while she was staring at him.

Rat Tales: Spotty’s Retirement

by Rebecca McLeod

After Bluey and his son passed, Spotty found himself in the unenviable position of raising four adolescent male rats without the aid of good teeth or superior body mass. The teenagers rampaged up and down the cage, tipping bowls, humping the indignant Spotty (“Ah have been violated”), and devouring every scrap of food before Spotty even saw the food bowl. He was especially put out when they ate his specially prepared baby food that, along with applesauce and soft bread, was the only thing his teeth could handle.

The One and Only Captain Smudge

by Rebecca McLeod

Smudge came from humble beginnings. Born somewhere in Alberta (the supposedly “rat-free” province), he was presumably one of several in a mass-produced litter of Himalayan marked rats. Due to the ignominy of not having his testicles descend at five weeks, he was mistaken for a female and shipped along with his sisters and a similarly delayed brother to a pet store in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.