At the bird feeder We’ve cut the laurel back to make it less easy but before that I watched the rat climb up through the bayleaf branches and tightrope across the thin rail to where the birds' peanuts hang. One whiskery snout first pushed out among the foliage (I by the window put down my book) then the keen-eyed look took in the task and the rat made its quickwitted clownish crossing not without risk but with reward. Common brown rat, pink-eared and pink-footed, deft and dedicated to the art of food. I watched on, complicit, and not without love for this distant cousin who knows an opportunity when he sees it and who can blame him for that? Published in The Green Gate (Cinnamon Press, 2015) and Journeys of Compassion published by Quaker Concern for Animals and available here.