Author’s Note: Don’t be fooled by the cheery title---if you are at all sensitive to rodents, animal cruelty, or laundry, you should probably just skip to the recipe at the end. The title won’t be quite as witty but you will save yourself some tears.
Today when I got home I decided to get some laundry done. I was down at the pila washing my clothes (by the way, washing clothes by hand is awful and takes a zillion years) when I saw a movement over by where the chicken were pecking at the concrete.
To back up a little, we had all come to the agreement that we had rats in the house somewhere last week. They had been eating my tomatoes at night and also eating clothes in Reina’s room. So, Reina put out some rat poison, which subsequently was gone the next morning. The assumption was that the rats had eaten the poison and had crawled away to some hidden location to die a slow and painful death by poison.
It turns out, a few rats were smart enough or not hungry enough and escaped the trap, because out from behind the crates of empty bottle crawled a RAT. Now, I have spent the better part of two weeks phobically afraid of these guys. I never thought I was scared of rats, but come to find out, they are one of the few things in the world that give me the heebie-jeebies. I have lain awake at night imagining that I hear them skittering around my kitchen. I have run to the bathroom at night as fast as I can because I am afraid they will jump out at me. However, to my dismay, out crawled this rat, and it was CUTE. It was not this giant, hairy, menacing creature I had been imagining. It was this little, cute, furry animal.
So now, I feel bad for trying to kill the little things. I try to imagine all the diseases they carry, all the tomatoes they have eaten, and the swarming capability of twenty of them reproducing behind those crates, because otherwise I kind of wanted to cuddle with it. Roberto (7 years old) came out and asked me if he should kill it. I told him he could kill it, but I didn’t want to see. I was already feeling morally torn and kind of sad for the ones I had already poisoned. So, he proceeded to take a board and throw it on top of the poor little thing. Now, it is halfway squished and suffering, so I told Roberto he needed to kill it all the way because it was hurt. All of the sudden, Roberto is too scared to go near the tiny, half-dead, cute rat. He threw a basketball at it, and a coat hanger, before I realized he did not have the guts to go through with it (I guess he is only 7). So I stood over the dying rat and tried to come up with the courage to kill it. There was a hatchet nearby and I contemplated it, but I just couldn’t do it. I could already feel tears welling up in my eyes.
So, I asked Roberto to go get one of the men who was working on constructing the new apartment at Reina’s house to come kill it. A man came down and stood at the top of the stairs looking down for ten minutes. Meanwhile, the little rat had dragged itself out from underneath the board and was crawling with its front paws back toward the crates (its back legs were already broken from the first blow dealt by Roberto). The man told me he was scared of rats (grown man + construction worker + fear of rodents?) but I finally coaxed him down. By now, the rat had crawled between the crates and he had to pull it out with a broom handle, into a dustpan, where he brought it into the yard onto a pile of garbage. Roberto then proceeded to grab a can of gasoline and some matches. They both looked at me like burning a rat alive was a perfectly reasonable solution. I told them how cruel I thought it was and that they needed to kill it first at least before they burnt it. The man assured me it was already dead. However, when I turned around the leave before I had to see it burn, I saw its little gasoline-soaked body trying to crawl away.
I admit, I cried. I am not a fan of rats, I am annoyed that they keep eating my vegetables, and I don’t blame anyone who wants to kill them. However, being a witness/accessory to the burning to death of that cute little rat was more than I could take. So, I made peanut butter chocolate brownies, courtesy of the supplies sent to me by Ryan Strash and Andrea Skjonsby. Here is the recipe:
Slow and Painful Death by Peanut Butter Chocolate Brownies
2/3 cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips
Cream peanut butter, butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add eggs. Add dry ingredients and mix until smooth (besides the crunchiness of the peanut butter). Add chocolate chips. Bake in greased pan at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (I can’t vouch for that time/temp because I used an improvised stovetop oven).