Wednesday, November 20, 2013

So how do you get rats off an island?

Hello James.
Do you like the island?
My grandmother had an island.
Nothing to boast of.
You could walk around it in an hour.

But still, it was a paradise for us.
One summer we went for a visit and discovered the place had been infested with rats.
They’d come on a fishing boat and gorged themselves on coconut.
So how do you get rats off an island? Hmm?
My grandmother showed me.
We buried an oil drum and hinged the lid.
Then we wired coconut to the lid as bait.
And the rats would come for the coconut and plunk-plunk-plunk-plunk they would fall into the trap.
Then after a month you’ve trapped all the rats
But what do you do then?
Throw the drum into the ocean? Burn it? No.
You just leave it. And they began to get hungry
And one by one – nibble nibble nibble -- they start eating each other.
Until there are only two left. Two survivors.
Then what? Do you kill them? No.
You take them and release them into the trees.
But now they don’t eat coconut anymore. Now they only eat rat.
You have changed their nature.

Two survivors. This is what she made us.