As usual, I stopped by for my weekly visit with Willard the Steelhead Jail Rat. I set down the fresh cheese platter and some water and he promised to at least ask me before relieving me of my lindens this time. I got comfortable and he jumped right into his story:
"Well, I said my goodbyes to Rattus and the crew and decided to strike out on my own. I wanted to see what opportunities there were for a young handsome rat such as myself. Quit yer groanin' cat!"
I rolled my eyes and waved a paw at him, "Go on already."
"As I was saying, I made my way through the port and decided to hop on the first wagon going out of there. I didn't care where it was going. Adventure was in my future! Nibbled on their scraps and got water when I could when we stopped. We'd been travelling for quite a while when we finally came upon a small frontier town. I kind of liked it and we parted ways. Plenty of food for a rat like me. I noticed another wagon and hopped up into it.
I was poking around in the front before noticing the back had two dusty, mean-lookin' humans laying in it--one tall, one short--their hands tied with rope around their wrists. I sniffed closer and the tall one of 'em said "Hey now, rat...mind helping us out here a bit? We'll feed ya and you can come with us."
Willard stopped talking and looked at me. "Cat, are you groanin' again?!" he yelled. I couldn't help myself. "Oh for Bastet's sake Rat!" I yelled back. "Tell the blasted story!"
He glared at me and continued. "I freed 'em and they ended up getting ahold of some weapons and robbin' the town blind. I got to ride on their shoulders as they did it. Pretty exciting for a young rat like me. When they were in the clear, I got all the food I could handle. That was good eatin' I tell ya! His buddy asked him how'd he know I was gonna help. 'Easy,' the tall one said."
"Don't tell me Willard," I interrupted. "Because 'rats like to gnaw things.'"
Willard squeaked loudly as he chuckled. "Well now," he said through his laughter. "I think my rat humor's starting to rub off on ya!"
Oh, I most certainly hope not.