Last night B and I were dining at a small pub in Fitzroy where we often go for a meal out on Friday night. We were sitting in the beer garden (that's an outdoor area common in a lot of pubs in Australia) waiting for our food to be served when B spotted a rat running around the perimeter of the area. It ran under a door at the back and disappeared. B was in two minds as to whether he should mention it to the publicans, but he did tell the girl who delivered our meals.
We had finished our meal and were relaxing with a post-prandial drink, when the rat reappeared scurrying towards the street entrance of the beer garden. A woman on the table next to us remarked that it was a native rat as if that made a difference. Anyhow, how could she tell?
The rat made an abrupt about face and headed indoors (the back area was opened up due to the warmth of the evening). The bar girl darted after it with one of the publicans in tow. A couple of customers inside who were about to sit themselves at a table where the rat was headed, hastily beat a retreat. The last we saw was the publican pursuing the rat with a large cardboard box in hand. I don't know if he managed to catch it. We observers outside were highly amused by the drama. It naturally reminded me of the scene in Fawlty Towers where Manuel's rat escapes into the dining room.
So ended a series of amusing incidents in Melbourne this week.
Shortly after we got home last night, Willy the cat came in with another rat - dead, fortunately. He hurled it around for a bit and then ate it. We see quite few rats, mostly dead, as the cats are good ratters. B found two half eaten rats the other morning, lined up under the dining table.