A life's lesson from a Stoat and a dead rat

Yes you read the title correctly. A stoat and a dead rat, taught me something one summer morning back in 2005. I was having one of those 'down days' we all get from time to time whenever things don't quite go our way ( or Mr Murphy and his laws have decided to exact their powers upon us poor mortals). The kind of day, when, we just want to sit around with chocolate ice cream and basically do the old 'woe is me' routine, along with the sullen expression that goes with it. Heck - I probably forgot the curlers, and the dressing gown, plus the fluffy slippers as well. The reason for this melancholic drama? A really lame one to be honest. So lame, you'd have to get the gun out and shoot me on the spot. My truck broke down. That's the reason - I was trying to figure out how to pay for the damned thing! Felt like chucking in the towel there and then. So, I'm sitting there trying to feel depressed, and look it too. Yeah right - I was about as convincing as a Nile Crocodile, after having a huge feed on some poor unsuspecting wildebeast crossing the Zambesi River! Fat chance I had of looking depressed. Not, when something very very odd happened - right in front of my now curious-looking mug.

Something so odd, that it had me standing up in utter surprise. Moving on its back - was a rat. A huge one. One of the types you'd find waiting for you in a dark alley somewhere in one of those horror movies. Well okay, so not quite, but water rats are not exactly small. This one was big and fat..and dead. Very dead...so dead that it was flopping as it moved. A moving dead rat??? I had to be seeing things right? No I wasn't. It was moving upside down, with all the four little paws up in the air, tail dragging in a straight line across the gravel of my driveway. Invisible forces were at work - I was sure that had to be...a small skinny little stoat. So much for believing in aliens then. Or the CIA being up to one of those wierd 1960's type experiments, everyone claims they like to do. That theory got tossed out, along with the sandwich I chucked out the chickens later on.

So there it was. A skinny, stinky little stoat, sharp teeth sunk into the throat of Herr Rat - straining for its might to drag off something bigger than it was. As in - twice the size. It let go briefly sitting there contemplating the possible loss of a meal if it gave up then - it seized Herr Rat once more by the throat and started to drag it away. So..I followed it. I watched Mr Stoat struggle with the burden of Herr Rat with all the grim determination of one hell bent on keeping hold of that hard one dinner. Across an entire paddock Mr Stoat dragged Herr Rat with a dumb human following behind in their wake. Every so often, Mr Stoat would drop Herr Rat to take a breather, now a hill was in the way. Yet still - it continued on with the dead weight until they reached the hole where Mr Stoat lived - where both vanished into the depths. Herr Rat became dinner and Mr Stoat had his meal.

The lesson out of all that? If you want something bad enough, you'll hold onto it with grim determination and not give up even when the greatest of obstacles tries to get in the way. Hold on to what is good in life, and forget the bad. It won't go away, but a positive view always wins the day.

As for me - it snapped me out of my funk. I went back down picked up the phone and rang the mechanic. Turned out I had the money after all. It only cost me a couple of hundred to fix my truck. Two days late,r it was back on the road and running. Mr Stoat thanks for the lesson.

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