It was another of my days on kitchen duty at Buck Brook Farm and I was man-handling a huge square pan of chicken swimming in a thin sauce into the commercial oven. Suddenly one of the students burst out of the walk-in cooler. She was all atwitter about seeing a rat.
I guess some folks live around rats but I had never shared space with our fellow life form that lives as grey rodents with bald tails hiding from the world. I prefer the variety of rodents that sport busy tails, an abundance of brown or grey hair, and are always squirreling around climbing trees for all of creation to enjoy.
Not having been around rats, I finally had a chance to check one out. I started hurrying to the walk-in, hoping it would not be gone before I got there.
As I entered the walk-in I was astonished at the size of that rat! It was longer than a commercial sized can of tomatoes and it was running like lightening. How it ever fit through whatever small holes it could find through the walk-in’s walls was astonishing to me.
Just then one of our energetic students came screaming in, yelling like a Mongolian hoard riding into battle, and swinging one of the kitchen’s sharp French knives.
As fast as that rat was sprinting it was not fast enough. The flash of the knife in one mighty swoop toward the wooden shelf that frightened beast was running on and we were left with a front half a rat and a back half a rat.
I refrained from serving up a chef’s special.