The shock of rat shit on the camshaft

Cartoon line drawing by JW of 2 rats on a pile of stones. One is saying to the other, I wouldn’t nest in that car. She’ll write a poem about us.

If you have a phobia about rodents, I apologise for this post.

It’s almost a year since the strange rattling in my car was revealed to be an engine full of stones placed there by rats. There was a lot of semi-hysterical banter about rats wanting a hot stone massage, the Andy Goldsworthy of the rat world (etc) but we concluded they were stashing bird food in the crevices and covering it in loose gravel from the drive. “Happens more often that you think,” said the mechanic, which wasn’t very reassuring.

I knew this was likely to provoke a poem and lo, Clearly, something was up spilled into my notebook in the initial horrified aftermath. I am majorly chuffed it was published in The Rialto 97 this December, along with another poem about living alongside rats, Rubbish day by Jo Bratten.

There’s a wealth of great poems in this issue of The Rialto – well worth getting your hands on a copy.

</End of rat post>

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