August 20, 2007
It was standing on the sidewalk in Brooklyn Heights in broad daylight as if it were a cat or a squirrel. It didn't run away as I approached, so I stopped and looked and contemplated getting out the camera, while a woman approached from the opposite direction. She didn't notice the rat until she was 5 feet away from it, at which point she murmured "oh, ooh, oh my" -- humorously -- and deviated from her straight-line path in a neat little arc. Having proven its point, the rat disappeared into the ivy ground cover, and I proceeded along my way. Was I upset? Only that I didn't get the photograph. I know there are rats. What does it matter if they make themselves visible to me? Am I to object to the sheer boldness? It's not as if we locked eyes and he gave me a wanna-make-something-of-it look. He was simply comfortable in his ecological niche, and I understood the situation.