Never Say Die – A Tale about a House Rat (Chapter 9 – The Rats Steals a Barge and Monster Truck)

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The rats saw a truck with a barge at the back. The barge seems useful to them so they come up with a plan to steal it. They scurry up the truck and start to chew on the ropes until the last fiber strand snaps. Once the ropes are snapped, a number of the rats enter the boat.

With the ropes snapped, another rat makes the driver feels ticklish by climbing into his trousers. The driver just can’t control himself when the rat tickles him and he steps on the oil pedal hard. When the rat comes out, he lets go the pedal and the boat is thrust onto the road.

The boat is now on the road so the rats come and carry it. The biggest rats take the initiatives to carry the boat. There are 4 rows of rats supporting it at each of the two ends of the boat. Some smaller rats join them as there aren’t enough big rats to support the weight of the boat.

With all the rats in positions, Commander Uriah gives the instruction, “Put your hand up. Straighten up posture. Now, on we go.” The barge is a lot heavier than the rats think it is. They keep swaying to the left and right while trying to march forward.

There is another group of rats that have taken over a monster truck. The rats climb up to the framework under the truck at the wheels behind. The leader instructs, “Up! Up! Up! Up! Up!” and the rats climb up to the cabin. The two men in the cabin become frightened when they see the rats rushing in. One man shouts, “What’s That? Rat!”  Then, they quickly rush out of the truck themselves. The rat turns the steering wheel,  round and round  “Wheee!” and another rat pushes on the oil pedal. The rat on top  says, “Let’s go.”

The rats drive the monster truck to the area beside the barge but did not do anything to help them. They proceed with their journey to the beach. The monster truck has special wheels that allow it to float on the sea.

A helicopter arrives to lift the barge into air. There are two ropes equipped with metal hooks from the helicopter. Carefully, the helicopter hooks the barge and carry it into the air. As the barge is slowly lifted into air, the rat asks their commander, “What should we do now, commander?” Commander Uriah quickly instructs them, “Into the barge.” The rats reply, “Aye, aye captain.” and they climb into the boat as fast as they can.

The pilot reports to the supervisor on the radio, “Lots of mouse in the boat.” The boss replies, “Take them to the nearest animal control shelter. Report to me back when you are halfway.”

The pilot replies, “All right.”

The helicopter radio suddenly receives a high frequency pitch coming from the rats below. Some of the rats are making lots of noises while climbing the ropes to the helicopter. When they reach the top of the rope, they enter into the helicopter. One rat run up to the steering and turn it 5 times. The helicopter spins around at such a fast rate that the pilot falls from the sky.

As the pilot falls, he says, “Oh, my God! Today is my bad luck.” Fortunately, the parachute he is wearing saves him and he lands safely.

The rats now have control over the whole helicopter. Casey is a reckless pilot and he nearly hit the windscreen of the car.

Randy, who has higher rank than Casey, says, “Casey, stop running all over the steering.”

Casey asks, “What to do then?”

Randy says, “Let me on the steering.”

Randy moves the steering to the left and the whole helicopter suddenly swing to the left. Randy takes the helicopter to the beach.

When they reach the beach, Commander Uriah tells Randy, “Reduce the height of the helicopter. Lower, lower, lower.”

Next, he instructs Tooth, “Tooth, bite the ropes.”

Tooth replies, “Ok. I do it now.”

Just as Commander Uriah says, Tooth gnaws the ropes that are holding up the boat.

Another rat (Bengy) asks the commander, “Should we jump now?”

Commander Uriah says, “No. Not yet.”

With the helicopter tilts on one side, the rats slope down and fall into the sea.

After Tooth finally gnawed off the other rope, he jumps into the sea. The boat is now free to float on its own with no helicopter hanging over it. With no one controlling the helicopter, it flies away on its own. Most of the rats successfully land in the boat. There are four rats that end up landing in the sea water.

The rats work fast to pull in those that have landed on the sea. Two rats join to give a hand to the first rat that is in the water (the first rat holds on to the two legs of the second rat who in turn reaches out and pulls in the rat that is drowning).

The second rat is near to the boat so only one mouse is needed to pull him in.

The third rat is the furthest away and 6 mouses have to join to get him into the boat.

The fourth rat is only slightly far from the boat. The rat helping him says, “Eeeh.” as he reach out for him.

When everyone is safely in the boat, one mouse says, “Phew, we’re safe now”.

With the boat floating on the sea, the only problem they now have is that they have no way to move the boat. The oar is big and heavy and the rats couldn’t put up with such tiring task. Fortunately, the rats on the monster truck did not forget those that are on the boat. The monster truck comes to the opposite of the barge. Joe from the monster truck shouts to the rats on the barge, “Can you throw the rope over?”

Ian shouts back, “Send someone to come into the boat and help us.” He then takes the initiative to throw the rope to the mouse waiting on the monster truck. He says, “Catch, Joe.”He tries to throw the rope as far as he can but it drops into the water.

Joe says, “Don’t worry. I will get the rope.”

Joe dives into the ocean to fetch the ropes. In a short while, he climbs back into the monster truck and ties the ropes properly. He ties a figure 8 knot and tightens it with 2 ordinary knots. Joe says, “All have finished.” Now, wherever the monster truck floats to, the barge will also be tagged along.

The supervisor Pete praises Joe, “Good work, Joe.”

Ruby did not follow the colony to the sea. He doesn’t like to be pushed around constantly. He says to himself. “I can’t stay here and let them squeeze me like a sardine can. I’ll get Cole to help.” He turns back and runs to find Cole immediately.

Ruby asks Cole, “Can you help me to cross the ocean?”

Cole replies, “What happened? Where’s your family? Why didn’t you follow them?”

Ruby asks again, “Can you help me?”

Cole replies, “Of course, I am your friend.”

Ruby says, “We’ll have to catch up with them now.”

Cole replies, “Ok buddy.”

On the way, they pass by a jeep where someone has left a binocular on the front hood. Cole climbs up the front hood, takes the binocular, and say, “This will do.”

They run to the pier at Clyde Beach. Cole holds up the binocular looking for the rats’ vessels. He could see nothing as far as he can see. He tells Ruby, “Your family. They are gone now.”

Ruby becomes uncertain about his future and says, “What will be of me – a poor mouse, I don’t know how to go after them.”

Cole replies, “Well, there’s a quick solution to your predicament. We can take one of the boat that the fishermen had left on the seashore.”

Ruby replies,”We’d better hurry then. There’s no time to waste.”

They run to the shore where there are several wooden boats left by the fishermen. They try to push the boat into the sea but it is too heavy for them.

Cole says, “Now, the thing is how are we going to push it. This is pretty heavy, we’ll have to try hard to push.”

Ruby replies, “No way, I am a mouse. I don’t have enough strength to push.

Cole replies, “Me too. Neither do I have the muscle or wit to push the boat out into the sea.”

After saying this, Cole turns his head and he sees giant origami paper boats! He tells Ruby, “See ruby. What are we waiting here for? Let’s go over there and check out the origami paper boat now.”

Ruby couldn’t be happier and he says, “I’ve never seen an origami paper boat like this before.”

Cole says, “Let’s get this thing to float.” The giant origami paper boat is quite light and easy for the raccoon and rat to push into the sea.

Cole replies, “It works.”

Ruby says, “Miracle.” He clasps his hands and look up to the heaven with feeling of gratitude in his heart.

Cole says, “Lets’ start rowing the boat. It’s heavy. I mean the oar is heavy but I am getting used to it. How nice to be able to row a boat on an excursion like that.”

Ruby replies, “I’m worried.” He makes some tiny noises “eem”.

Cole replies, “Don’t worry. We’ll catch up with them sooner than you know.”

Cole is bigger and stronger than the rat so he rows the boat. When rowing the boat, he sings a song:

Let’s keep rowing, rowing, rowing, rowing, rowing. Let’s row my boat, my boat, my boat.

He whistles cheerfully on the same tune of the song he just sang.

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