This Rat
by Anne Carly Abad

Everyrat of age must die
by metal snares beside the High Walls
on which is written in toothspeak:

Go, go quickly with one fell squeak
before the mewing beasts turn up,
put you on the run from fickle clawed death
never to know when you're done.

But the end shouldn't be so ratty
or so thinks this rat,
catching the crumbs of giantsó
rice grits and cookie dough
sugar cubes and beer dropsó
a proper last supper
before facing the gallows
which it never does.
A doctor, on a quest for the ugliest things,
offers this rat surgery
to turn it into a cat,
"change a rodent, touch a god," says the doc,
while tucking some fat with needle and thread,
curling its snout with surgical staplers;
as for the fur, a little brushing does the trick,
rat in cat's clothing turns out quite dashing.

Mewers all over can't help but take notice,
"Pity you're in the pit."
They offer a paw and pull him up
but then the beasts let go.
They offer a paw and pull him up;
they never do pull through.
When he snaps his tail in one bad fall
that's when they've had enough.
"Welcome to the club," they applaud
and leave him to climb out on his own.

Ringo's Rat Tales                                           

Anne Carly Abad has recently been nominated for the Pushcart Prize for her poem "The Bitter Gourd's Fate", which was published by Niteblade. Her work has appeared or will appear in NameL3ss Digest, Apex, and Not One of Us. Find out more about her at

Anne previously appeared in Chrome Baby 26.