Flat Rat in an Alley in Abell

Today’s ride was a quick one, just down the hill for a treadmill workout at the gym, up the hill to meet colleagues for lunch, and then up the hill to home. It started like all rides do, in my alleyway.

For the past many weeks, I can’t even tell you how long, I’ve been walking my bike past this dead rat. It’s the glob at the bottom of the picture, and if you didn’t know it was a rat, you might think it’s just a wad of trash.

But it’s a rat. The tail gives it away. I ride over so many rats in this town. Sometimes they are fresh, and I go around to avoid the squishy crush of their bodies under my wheels, but most of the time I’m rolling over flat bodies that I think are trash before I notice the tail, always the tail, sticking up and out like a handle I’ll never grab. A rat’s tail is made of bone, so it’s just not going anywhere.

The ride home was tougher than usual, thanks to strong, cold gusts of wind. Pedal, pedal, pedal, I made it, walked my bike back down the alley, around the rat like I do twice a day, every day, grateful for a Friday with some space and time.

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