Have I ever mentioned that I have this thing with rats? Some people find them to be the most adorable, cute and cuddly little creatures. I do not. It stems from being attacked by one in my sleep when I was a kid. As my father came barging into my room to see why the heck I was screaming my head off, it finally jumped off my back, which it had been biting, and raced out the door between his feet. The next day we got rat traps and rat poison.
Now, even just seeing the little critters on TV makes me squeamish. I know that I got myself over my fear of snakes by purchasing a ceramic cobra, whom I named "Oliver Twist" and setting him at the foot of my bed so that every night and every morning that was what I saw. I also figured it would be a good fake out for any rats. I am now able to hold and handle a python with no fear whatsoever. But put me in the same room with a rat, caged or otherwise, and I am on the ceiling screaming like a baby. The child of a friend had one for a pet. I looked at it in the cage. 15 seconds was all I could do. Then I was out of the room and planning on how soon I could round up the family and get out. They no longer have the rat. Seems it needed a new home. That is okay by me. I now can visit again. This fear has also transferred to mice. Although I can kill a mouse if I have to, I break a cold sweat doing so. My heart pounds out of my chest and I feel weak in the knees. Still, it is at least not as big as a rat. Besides, this is why I have a cat in my house. She is an excellent assassin of rodents. I know we are supposed to be at one with all creatures. But really, when there is a hostile invasion happening in my home, that's it, they've gotta go!
Rat Medicine is supposed to be that of resourcefulness and cunning, wisdom and knowledge, all the stuff that a basic martial artist would love to posses. Well, that is good, and I do have that medicine within me, especially since the infusion of it into my body by the teeth of the rat, but as to being at one with the animal itself, I think I will have to work on that a bit longer.
When I talk about this with people they are rather surprised that I would have a fear like that, being a shaman and all. I am here to tell you that being a shaman means that you work on your fears. It does not mean that you have no fears. We are human, just like everybody else, and we have our stuff to work on. Yes, I could fool myself and others into thinking that I have no fear. But that would eventually catch up with me because life does that. Most people find it relieving that someone like me also has a fear/phobia. It makes them feel less screwed up. Well, I say "Good on you for finding out that you are not the only one who has issues! Welcome to the human race! Now let's work on those issues so they don't haunt you." I am sure that the makers of that Willard movie had folks like me in mind. And if you have ever seen The Bone Collector, well, let's just say that you will know exactly which scene made me squirm. Willard I am not.
All the Power of the Rodent World to ya!