Twinkle! Twinkle! The bells at Fin and Feather tinkled as I shoved the door open with anticipation. It was a cold Friday night, and it was finally the day for me to adopt a rat. I had already planned out her name for weeks. I was going to call her Roxanne and call her Rock or Roxy. I currently had another rat named Star, who had trouble eating and seemed very timid and apprehensive. I named her Star because reversed its ratS. My mother had talked to a store employee and found out that rats are very social and need companions. So finally, she agreed that I could have two rats. So then, as I sped into the pet store, I crossed my fingers.
Do you have any rats? Mom asked the cashier. The woman introduced herself and told us that they had snakefood rats, but not pet rats for sale. Mom agreed, and the cashier led us out the back door and into the shed, where pregnant rats and nursing babies lay in aquariums on the shelves. She pulled down a cage of small, scared-looking rats from the back. Male or female? She asked. Female. I answered quickly. Star was a female, and females and males mate. Also, males and males fight, so two females were the best option. She pulled out two females, who ran up and down her outstretched arm. My neighbor, mother, brother and I agreed that the most adventurous rat would help out Star, so we picked the one running up and down and sniffing, though both were doing the same thing!
Can I hold it? Normally they let the customers check all of the rats out, but this woman answered, No. When we made it back into the store, she stuffed Rock into a paper bag and instructed me not to open it. I shrugged, Okay, but I was really thinking, This rat will surely suffocate with this bag wrapped so tightly! When we loaded into the car, I felt Rock jumping around and shoving herself onto the sides of the bag. I could just imagine her trying to rip free, her struggles becoming weaker as she fought for air. Open it! Save her! A voice in my head urged me. So I did. I wasnt thinking. I just opened it. SPRING! Like a loaded spring let free, Rock leapt out of bag onto me. Startled, I just stared at her. Then she leapt off of me and thudded to the ground. Mom! I yelled. Rock got out! I didnt mention that I opened the bag. We were close to home, thank God, so Mom quickly pulled into our driveway, parked, and flipped around. Get her! My neighbor and brother both fell to the floor, crawling around like dogs sniffing for prey. After what seemed to be a wild goose chase, my neighbor announced, Got her! But a split second later, the sly rat wriggled free of her grasp and ran under the passenger seat. Catch her, Mom! I called, climbing to my feet. Oh, no! My mother wailed. No, no, no… It cant be!
WHAT? I screeched, my knees wobbling. She went down a hole behind my glove compartment! I gaped. Theres a hole behind your glove compartment? She frowned. Apparently. And now she could have gone up into my engine! WHAT? This was bad, really bad! We jumped out and all four of us lifted her hood and began searching. If she made it into the engine, she could have leapt onto the ground and ran away already! My neighbor was a non-Christian friend, so I just prayed in my head, God, please help us find Rock. Please Lord! When I opened my eyes I sighed. I must have thought that she would just appear – ZIP! Right when I opened my eyes. Nope. Finally, after a while without success, I decided to pray, even if it meant praying in front of my neighbor. Lets pray, Mom. I told her.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You know what happened today, and if it Your will, please help us to safely find Rock, Lord. In your name we pray, Amen. I opened my eyes. Lets call Dad to see if that hole even leads to the engine. I suggested. My father is an engineer, so he is good at stuff like that. We phoned him, and sighed in relief as he told us that no, the hole did not connect to the engine. But where did it lead? We had already looked inside the actual glove box and even tried looking up the hole with a flashlight, but nothing prevailed. It was becoming darker and darker. Finally, giving up, we headed inside and went to bed. The next day, the Sabbath, we drove to church. I gulped. If somehow the hole did connect to the engine, Rock would be dead. All throughout church, I squirmed and twitched, not able to focus. Was Rock okay? Was she stuck? Or was she dead. Or worse, did she ruin Moms car by chewing through some wires then died slowly, far more painful than a snake could infict? Gory images flooded my brain, and when we arrived at the car, Mom commented. It smells like animal droppings in here! Maybe Rock survived! Since it was the Sabbath, we didnt buy a trap, but we talked about buying a Haveahart trap for small animals. On Sunday, Mom and I drove to a nearby store and bought the second to last trap there. When we arrived home, we opened it, but it was broken. That thing cost $30 and so we werent very happy. We went back, bought the last trap, and came home. Thank God its not broken! I sighed thankfully.
We put the cage next to the glovebox and went inside. Fifteen minutes later, after my Mom went to check it out, my Dad ran in and grinned. We caught her! I leapt outside like a rabbit and helped Mom pull out the cage and bring it into the house. We let Rock meet Star, then Mom decided, The name Rock doesnt fit her anymore. She laughed. We should call her Glovebox!
At the time, the name Glovebox seemed weird, but now, when I look at her, the name Roxy is even weirder! I learned the power of prayer, even when I disobey. You cant expect God to answer your prayers the second you want it. God does it in his own time.
Now, Glovebox and Star are best friends- Glovebox turned out to by shy and a scaredy-rat, but Star is actually the crazy one now! Glovebox eats like a starved dog, and Star is really picky. But even though they are quite different, they both love each other, and that is what counts.