Train to Fame


Mom was forever telling me I was too curious for my own good. Well, darn it, we all like to explore. The family was born and lives in Lower Manhattan so I hardly expected a short jaunt to Brooklyn would get me onto the front pages. I mean, it wasn’t as though I’d scaled Kilimanjaro. All I did to achieve notoriety was board the A train during the morning rush hour, at the Fulton Street station going downtown. Now how is that news? Two million people saw the video of my journey on Youtube. Man that was some ride.

For breakfast that morning I’d finished up some bagels from the bodega with the guys on our block. Then I’d split in a kind of a daydream. Before I knew it, I’d ended up on the subway platform. I don’t see so good, things are a bit blurry. My vision is what you call dichromatic. I manage just swell but rely more on feeling my way about, keeping to the edges helps, following the walls. This particular Monday, I was trotting along a groove, keeping to the vertical, lured on the trail by a lush feminine scent, when all of a sudden I was hustled by jostling bodies and hurtled through heavy doors into a brightly lit carriage.

What followed was an outburst of hysteria among my fellow passengers. My hearing is real acute and their screeching hurt like hell. If I’d not been as fit as a fiddle, then the stress of what went down would have done for me. I’m not ashamed to admit that I was spooked, wondering what in the blazes I’d got myself into. Shook me up it did, but it’s a tale I’ll be dining out on for the remainder of my days.

So there I was dazed and confused and as the doors closed behind me a voice screamed, “Rat on the train!” All hell broke loose as we entered the tunnel under the East River and the passengers realized they were trapped with me. They lifted up their legs in fear I might run up them. Some of those traveling even leapt on to their seats! I scampered back and forth the length of the carriage terrifying all of them.

Normally, I don’t make public appearances before you lot. Your widespread disgust and hatred (bred of misunderstanding, I might add) and immortalized in folklore make it clear we’re less than welcome under your roofs. OK, we do squat without permission and sometimes damage stuff because we’re fond of gnawing: but do me a solid and show some respect because we’ve helped in the rise and fall of all your civilizations. Our popularity hit rock bottom with The Black Death, which wasn’t even our fault, yet no one ever blamed the fleas. All right, having a paw in bringing on the deadliest epidemiological disaster in human history isn’t exactly something we’re proud of but we’ve been vilified for it ever since the 14th century. Talk about bearing a grudge…

It’s mad funny though: such great big creatures with such irrational fears catapulting scary little me to the dizzy heights of celebrity. It’s a story I can share with my grandchildren, all 467 of the lil’ scamps.