‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,
The creatures were stirring – dear God, please, not a mouse.
The children were nestled … in my bed, stealing the covers.
Because uninterrupted sleep? Yeah right, I’m a mother.
When from somewhere below, I heard a strange sound.
Like something was dragging and scratching the ground.
A ghost? Or a burglar? Maybe Santa was near?
But deep down, I had a more hideous fear.
I crept down the stairs to see what was the matter,
As a body slammed into the hearth with a clatter.
When his tail hit the floor with a sickening splat,
I knew in a moment – it must be St. Rat.
He was hairy and gray, a nasty old gent.
But what else do you expect from a giant rodent?
His claws, how they glistened, his teeth were quite shocking.
And he spied me, as he flung bits of trash in our stockings.
“Hey Deirdre,” he hissed, his voice scratchy and low,
“Glad we've met – you’re big in the rat world, you know.”
“Yeah, I’ve noticed the attention,” I sighed with a groan.
“What can I say, we can’t leave you alone.”
“But you ate my car's wiring, I had to buy new.”
“Oh, we feasted like kings on your Subaru.”
“I tried mothballs, I called Geico -- you don't know what it took!”
“Yes we read all about it...from your posts on Facebook.”
Defeated, I looked St Rat right in the eye.
And was tempted, I’ll admit, to sit down and cry.
“We’re rats, D,” he said. “Wreck and ruin’s what we do.
But there’s nobody we like messing with more than you."
And here’s where my revulsion dwindled to almost affection,
I asked, “St Rat, did you by chance rig the election?”
He spoke not a word, but gave me a wink.
“We once wiped out Europe… what do you think?”
Then, extending his paw, he said, “I want to be friends.”
And shook my hand (as I wondered if the world was at end).
"Just remember," he urged, "next time all hope is fallen,"
"Ignore those sounds in the walls -- watch a movie with Colin."
Then he squealed to the air, “Come rats and come mice,
Let’s leave her alone, boys, it’s time to be nice.”
And as he rose up the chimney and into the sky,
He called, “Merry Christmas to all – and yes, rats really can fly!”