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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Rats are Gone!

Hamish and Sandra lay in their beds. The room was dark and outside the wind blew. Mama and Papa were downstairs sipping hot tea and eating chocolate coated biscuits. Hamish heard something crawling around in his room. "Sandra, do you hear that?"

Sandra scooted up on the bed. "What?"

"I hear a noise. It sounds like mice, or rats crawling around on the floor."

"Oh no! I hate rats and mice! Kill it, Hamish." Sandra pulled her feet up and wrapped the blanket around her.

When a rat jumped on Hamish's bed, he screamed. Mama and Papa came running up the stairs. "What's the matter, Hamish?" Papa turned on the light. Rats ran all over the room. "We've got rats, Mama. It's time to call the rat-catcher."

Mama ran down the stairs and out the front door. She came back a while later with the rat-catcher. A tall man with gangly legs stood in Hamish and Sandra's bedroom. "Rats," he said. "It's time for me to play my flute and get rid of them."

The rat-catcher whistled on his flute. The rats came out of the walls and gathered around him. He walked down the stairs and out the front door and all the rats followed. Hamish and Sandra giggled. "I'm glad those rats are gone," Sandra said. "Now I can go back to sleep." She and Hamish went back to bed and both fell asleep right away.

In the morning they looked outside the window. There was the rat-catcher walking down the middle of the street, blowing on his flute. Hundreds of rats followed him. Boom! The rat-catcher fell. All the rats ran on top of him. His flute fell and rolled away. The rats ran back into the houses. Hamish and Sandra watched as a dozen rats crawled inside their house. Sandra screamed. Papa came to see what was wrong. "Papa! The rat-catcher fell and his flute fell down into the sewer. The rats are going back to the houses and some came into ours."

Papa thought about it. "Hmm. I know of another rat-catcher. I'll be right back."

Hamish and Sandra watched out the window as Papa ran into town. A rat jumped near Sandra's feet. She climbed on her bed and screamed. Hamish saw three more rats and hopped onto his bed. A while later Papa returned. He held two cats in his arms. "These are real rat-catchers," he said with a grin. He put the cats down and they ran right after the rats.

That night Hamish and Sandra lay in their beds. One cat laid on Sandra's bed and another laid on Hamish's bed. Never again did another rat come into their house.

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