Move over Orkin, you have some competition today, because on June 26th 1284, the Pied Piper got rid of rats in Hamelin Germany, which is known today as Rat Catchers Day!
Commemorating the myth of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, the date the Pied Piper led the children out of the town, while the poem by Robert Browning regarding, “The Pied Piper of Hamelin,” came out on July 22nd 1376; Rat Catcher’s Day is stated to be celebrated on both days.
According to lore, residents of the German town of Hamelin hired a strangely dressed man to rid their village of rats by playing his pipe. But when he finished the task, the townsfolk refused to pay so the Pied Piper returned while they were in church and disappeared with their children.
Some foreign calendars mark Rat Catcher’s Day as June 26, coinciding with St. John and Paul’s Day, a holy day when “130 people left from Hamelin to Calvary and were led into all kinds of danger to Koppen and vanished,” according to a cryptic window inscription in a Hamelin church.
Past legends aside, rat infestations today can be a serious problem. Rats get a bad rap, but they are actually fairly intelligent animals.
Did you know? Mice and rats are fastidiously clean animals, grooming themselves several times a day. In fact, rats and mice are less likely than dogs or cats to catch and transmit parasites and viruses.
Mice and rats are highly social animals. They communicate with each other using high-frequency sounds that we can’t hear without instrumentation. Mice have even been recorded “singing” like birds but at ultrasonic frequencies. They play together, wrestle, and love sleeping curled up together. Much like us, if they do not have companionship, they can become lonely, anxious, depressed, and stressed.
Mice and rats have complex systems of communication. They can communicate by touch, by smell, and by sound at frequencies that we can’t hear.
After engaging in sex, male rats sing at frequencies beyond the range of human hearing, at around 20 to 22 kHz.
A female rat can mate as many as 500 times with various males during a six-hour period of receptivity a state she experiences about 15 times per year. Thus a pair of brown rats can produce as many as 2,000 descendants in a year if left to breed unchecked. (A rat matures sexually at age three to four months.)
A rat can tread water for three days and survive being flushed down the toilet. (And it can return to the building via the same route.) There is approximately one rat per person in the United States.
Rat baiting, a popular sport in 19th-century London, pitted a man or a dog against hundreds of rats. Jacko, a 13-pound bull terrier, set the record in 1862 when he killed 100 rats in 5 minutes, 28 seconds, but where did so many rats come from?
Today’s YouTube video clip shared by Pixar Films on the history of rats, shared by user name International School History, we find out where rats originally came from?
In India a Hindu temple is dedicated to the rat goddess Karni Mata in Deshnoke, housing more than 20,000 rats. Many people travel far to pay respect to the rats, which are believed to be reincarnations of Karni Mata and her clansmen.
If you were born in 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, or 1996, then you’re a rat, according to Chinese astrology. This would make you quick-witted, resourceful, and something of a fashionista. Exactly like a rat, except for the clothes bit.
Rats don’t have gallbladders or tonsils, but they do have belly buttons.
In lieu of today’s story as I button up today’s story with you, if you’re not into rats, and you don’t give rat’s ass about this story.
As smart as rats are, be glad we live in a technology that can get rid of a rat infestation, without calling up some guy to play a pipe to get rid of the rats for you, and if you skip out on paying the bill to services rendered. He’ll steal your kids.
Here’s to fractured fairy tales, and psychotic folklore fables, may they never condole with true life experiences, as I wish you a rat free happy weekend.
Written & Designed by JD Mitchell