One fine day, as usual, the mother rat goes out to find food. She says to the 3 young rats, “Children, I’m going out. I’ll be back in no time. Don’t go anywhere.” She squeezes through the space beneath the entrance door and heads towards the road in front. She is thinking of returning to her children as fast as possible. As she was in a hurry, she did not notice a bicycle is approaching.
When she turns her head and sees the bicycle, its too late. She screams. It is the end of her life. Blood comes out from her head and streaks down her body. The cyclist feels his bike has hit something so he stops to check. When he looks behind, he notices a dead rat and his bicycle tires are stained with blood. He feels sorry for the rat. But, since he could do nothing about it, he continues cycling.
The 3 little rats waited at home for almost 3 hours until they started to feel hungry. To them, this is not good sign as she is quite punctual in bringing back food. Pips asks, “Where’s mother? She is never late.”
Huey, the youngest sibling in the family, asks, “Should we go and find mama?”
Then, Pips says, “I am starving.”
Ruby decides to take the initiative to carry out a search for their missing mother. He says to his younger siblings, “Lets’ go and find mother. I am the big brother and you two shall follow my lead.”
Huey is still a bit rebellious as he is the youngest and most pampered member in the family. He objects and says, “No.”
Ruby is serious about his leadership in the family. He repeats what he says a second time to his younger siblings, “I am the big brother. I shall be your leader. You will do as you are told.”
Then, he orders Pips, “Pips, hold Huey’s hand lest he wanders away like last time.”
They carefully come out of the hole and scurry to the living room. Both Kurt and Champ are there taking their naps. They walk in tip toes taking care not to arouse the cats. They pass the entrance door and proceed to the road where they find their mother lying dead there.
Shocked, Ruby runs to the corpse and sniffs it to confirm if it’s really their mother. Then, he says in a depressed tone, “It’s no wrong, its our mother. She’s dead.”
Pips says, “O, what will we do? Our mother is dead.”
Although Ruby is still young, he knows that they shouldn’t leave their mother’s corpse on the road as there are other animals that will devour it. He tells Pips, “We can’t leave her here in the road.”
The three siblings carry their dead mother back to the nest. Elder Ham, seeing this situation, knows that the corpse cannot be kept in the nest for long. It will soon attract other insects like cockroach and worms. He tells the 3 bereaved rats who has just lost their mother, “We can’t keep her in the nest.”
Huey asks, “Then?”
Ham replies, “We’ll bury her in the soil. There are lots of soil in the garden. Tim and Ray, come over to help carry the body.”
Tim asks, “Where to lay the body?”
Ham instructs them, “Dig a hole in the clay soil under the lilies, sing a mournful song, and bury it with the soil you dig up before.”
And so, they bury her under the lily plant in the front yard. They sing this mourn song. The 3 siblings cry the loudest while singing the mourn song:
Gone are those who are near to our heart but we will always remember them. But we will never forget that God will also look after our loved ones in heaven. Amen.