August 16, 2012
Smart rats invade town
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents
by Terry Pratchett
Everyone knows about the Pied Piper of Hamelin, where the rats are piped out of town and drowned in a river. But it's not true. Rats can swim and Pratchett's rats can think. How they became educated is cause for speculation. Maybe it was something they ate. Whatever it was, it affected Maurice the cat as well.
Smart and conniving, Maurice has engineered the perfect scam. Get a stupid-looking kid with a pipe and a bunch of intelligent rats and you've got an easy way to de-rat a town. The problem, however, is that once you start thinking, you can't stop thinking, and Maurice's rats are beginning to question the ethics about the whole scheme. They'd rather settle down on a nice island with no humans to bother them. The town of Bad Blintz, they decide, will be the last con. But there's something not right about Bad Blintz. There are rat traps and poisons, but no rats. A lot of fear though, and a voice that can control both rats and humans alike.
Part fantasy, part horror, part philosophical essay, this is a thoroughly engrossing tale that can only spring from the inventive mind of the incomparable Terry Pratchett.