Rat Story from the Farm…

Silos on our Farm

Rats love to climb into silos and eat corn silage.  Our silos did not have automatic machinery that would have sent silage down the chute to feed the cows.  It was necessary for a human being (me usually) to climb to the top and use a pitchfork to fork down enough silage to feed thirty cows.  That’s where I met the rats.

I went up the inside cement access tube ladder to the top and peeked in the top silo door dangling thirty feet in the air.  Two rats ran out past each side of my head close to my ears and down my body. They appeared to float down the thirty foot vertical cement access tube barely touching the sides with their feet.  It was kind of a mystical experience at the time that almost caused me to lose my grip and fall thirty feet after them.  My hand slipped slightly and my high school ring got caught on a nail sticking out of one of the silo doors/ladder.

It is a unique feeling to have a lot of your weight being held up by a ring attached to your finger.  It feels like your finger is being ripped off and that is why I never wear any ring including a wedding ring.  Years later I saw a man that had his finger ripped off by sliding down the side of a truck in Canada with a ring and this reinforced my desire to avoid wearing rings.  I do have a wedding ring but I am saving it for when I am buried.  Back to the rats.

The rats kept coming back in the silo to feed and I kept meeting them every day in the same manner.  I didn’t like this so I decided to kill the rats.  Easier said than done.  The damn things wouldn’t eat poison because they had so much silage to eat.  The cats were  afraid to go into the silage.  I tried to lock myself inside the silo with the rats so I could kill them but this was difficult because the rats quickly ran past me when I tried to put in the door behind me.  It was necessary to take a few weeks and lower the level of the silo so I could increase the number of doors in height closed behind me to trap them inside with me.  All the time while the level of the silo was being lowered the rats would continue to run past me down my body which feeling I did not like.

Finally there came a day when I was able to trap the rats inside the silo with me.  Time to die you dirty rats.  Heavy steam was rising from the silage making vision difficult and I held my pitchfork at the ready.  Rats are quick little devils and I tried many times unsuccessfully to club them with the fork but I couldn’t get them because vision was reduced by lack of light and silage steam.  Eventually I realized a quick swinging raking motion would cover more area quickly and this got the job done.  This primitive neanderthal like battle must have lasted an hour but I finally had something to feed our lazy scared cats.  The cats were quite happy once they realized what I had.  I felt kind of successful and happy afterwards.  It was a great victory to get those rats off my back.  The only good rat is a dead rat.