„Hello mum! Hi Papa! I’m here,“ Katharina let her voice ring through the house after she had pushed open the door to her parents‘ house with a bang. As on every Sunday, she was invited to lunch on this one and was happy to accept this invitation, because then she didn’t have to cook herself. After all, what’s the point of having a mother if you don’t let her cook for you, even when you’re thirty.
„Hello dear!“ her mother returned the greeting. The voice had come from the kitchen, so Katharina went there. Her mother turned to her briefly, hugged her, then immediately turned back to the pots. Her father, who was sitting on the corner seat and had been leafing listlessly through the newspaper, now looked up at her.
„Hello daughter!“ he whispered, „What about me? Am I not being hugged?”
„Of course, dad,“ Katharina said with a laugh, whereupon she also hugged her father before sitting down next to him.
„I had a really exciting experience walking here, that’s why I’m so late,“ Katharina began to tell.
„It doesn’t matter, my child, the main thing is that you’re there,“ her mother replied hastily, but without turning away from the pots.
„Anyway, it was very close to my apartment, maybe a hundred meters away, because I saw some firefighters standing around a manhole cover and looking at it closely,“ Katharina began again.
„Seriously?“ her father interrupted, „don’t firefighters have something better to do than stare at a manhole cover?“
„Now let me tell you more,“ Katharina demanded, getting a little impatient, „Of course I wanted to know what was going on. At first, I couldn’t see anything, but finally something moved between the struts that was just as gray as the manhole cover. So, it turned out to be a rat that got stuck between the struts and couldn’t free itself anymore. So, I stayed where I was to see what would happen next.”
„And what happened next?“, her father interrupted her again.
„The firefighters brought out the heavy artillery to get that poor animal out there,“ Catherine continued, „They cut the struts with something and were able to push out the rat, which ran away like it had been stung by a tarantula, without hurting a single one to turn around. In the meantime, many people had stopped, probably also from the surrounding houses, to watch the spectacle. When the poor rat was freed, everyone clapped and thanked the firefighters for their courageous commitment to the poor animal. Imagine if it weren’t for that, the rat would have died or been run over or something equally bad. Maybe a cat would have come by and bitten off her head while she was still alive, because she couldn’t have run away either and couldn’t fight back either.”
„No, how awful, just the idea,“ her mother agreed, „yes, there are good people who stand up for even the smallest creature. What brave fellows in the fire service.”
„Speaking of the rat,“ Katharina now steered the conversation in a different direction, „What happened to the one that has been tormenting you for the longest time, dad?“
„She won’t annoy me anymore,“ her father explained, now finally letting the newspaper be the newspaper, „You know that rats are damn smart. So, I bought a poison that’s guaranteed to be tasteless, odorless, and takes time to work so the other rats don’t realize what the poison is. Anyway, I mix it with my finest bacon. I sacrificed it for the bastard. It actually ate everything together. Somewhere it ripped open her stomach.“
„A good solution,“ Katharina stated, „but are you sure that she is really dead?“
„Well, I can’t be sure, after all I didn’t see her, with her intestines hanging out,“ her father had to admit, „but I think it got her because she hasn’t been seen since.“
„It’s your own fault, what’s this creature doing in our house,“ interjected her mother.
„Exactly, rats don’t belong in houses. There should be vehement action, they don’t understand another language,“ her father explained with conviction.
„Now don’t keep talking about these horrible creatures and come eat,“ determined the mother, whereupon everyone sat down dutifully at the dining table and began to eat. Intense silence filled the room for a few moments while only cutting, shoving, chewing and swallowing took place. But it didn’t last long, couldn’t last long.
„Excellent, your roast lamb,“ Katharina expressed her well-being. The father only grunted in agreement, too busy feeding for a spoken reply.
„It also comes from the alp, from grazing, it was written on the package,“ explained the mother proudly, „How nice it must be, the lambs and their mothers on the alp, grazing peacefully, not like in factory farming.“
„And then the wolf comes,“ interjected Katharina, „Have you read that? Only now has a wolf caused a massacre in a flock of sheep. When the farmer went to the pasture in the morning, he found sheep with ripped bellies and intestines hanging out. It must have been awful. You can’t even imagine that. The ewes who have to weep for their dead lambs or the little baby who suddenly finds himself without a mother.”