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Donna Flood
Sue Mac's Rat Terrier, "Tiny"

Rat TerrierElla and her sister were sifting through the muddy waters of politics and were still not able to comprehend the why and for of it. "Of course, national politics had not a clue as to compare to the fierce maneuvering of family upheaval." Ella commented.

"Can you remember that little dog we had you named, "Tiny?" Ella asked.

"Um-m!" She was often gracious and tolerant of her older sister's rambling, but often deep into her own problems and lifestyle so as not to be overly interested in this or that memory.

"He was a Rat Terrier." Ella was master at catching the busy people's attention just as she had to do when they were children and often too busy with their play to answer.

"Oh yes, a Terrier, for sure." Sister was now remembering.

The move they had made to the ancient old dilapidated farm house of her grandmother's was a memory none of them wanted to call up, very much. Especially, since they had before lived under the more perfect conditions of their father's ranching family's protection. To leave the civilization of that community to come to this relatively rough area was difficult. But then, difficult was hardly the right word. It could have been more like trauma without the determination and focus of their parents. The politics of the family had torn brothers' apart leaving a gaping split. This tear had left the ranches abandoned, desolate, standing fully furnished and available, but vacant. The brothers were both too proud to bend and too sure of their own rightness so that they would not come to any agreement.

The hardest part of this new environment to accept were the large rats to inhabit the buildings and out buildings of the place. These animals were so human like in their personalities it was hard to believe they were very large rodents.

Their mother and father had fought the creatures with every possible way of extermination from poisoning to shooting them with small weapons. So slick and clever were they, it was an incredible imprint left on the children's minds. If the rats ever caught your gaze for a moment, they were disdainful, seeming to stare any person down, directly holding an arrogant look from their eyes, before they were off and gone.

Their mother had been educated in the culture of the Anglo-American. Father had grown up and been tutored through the oil wealth of his family. Neither of them was ready to deal with the scourge of these wily little beasts.

At this time one of the farmer's wives of the area had invited the family to an evening meal. Sue was a tall, slow talking, deliberate, steady woman married to a man of equal intelligence. Their parents had pioneered this land. The old farm house where they lived for all out side appearances was ancient. Only when one entered through a side porch was a treat given to the guest there from special invitation. Gone was the feel of a country place. Everything was modern and attractive in its decor. It was as someone held your head in their hands demanding that you all at once see the striking opposites of the two worlds, outside and inside.

However, this was not the only education the children would receive at this time. Their mother had complained to Sue about the problem with the rats. As they were leaving, Sue had the little Rat Terrier dogs brought out from the barn.

The runt of the litter was small and this is what led to their little sister giving him, his name. "OH Look!" "He is so tiny."

From that day on the little dog won his place in the sun. The small pet wasn't much bigger than the rats he would set upon in an instant. They couldn't get away from him. He was quick beyond belief. In an instant he was upon the pest, grasping them with his jaws locked upon their neck. The rapid back and forth shaking of the animal would instantly kill the vermin. He seemed to have no interest in eating the things. His only purpose appeared to be his adamant hate for them. One by one, carefully, and meticulously the place was made clean and free of the rats.

"Do you think Sue Mac. will fault me for remembering her as the lady who cleaned our place up from rats?" Ella again spoke to her sister.

"I'm sure she would be proud to have had the honor!" Ella's sister, in her tiny stature, smiled as she was a favorite of the farm-oriented lady and had her own sweet memories too.

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