The Pied Piper of Australia
For many years, the congregation of the small church put up with the rats living in their church. Some even brought some food on Sundays and to the annoyance of the priest, fed the creatures. Sundays they sat in silence listening to the rats running in the ceilings, sliding down pipes and having a lot of fun. During the week, the rats were left to breed, which they did very well.
The bride put her foot down – she will get married in that church, but the rats must go.
Cats were locked in the church that night, but the few rats they killed would never clear the plague in time for the wedding. The second night the cats were not so keen on being locked in again and a lot of scratched hands lead to this plan being abandoned. A meeting was called by the priest to ask his people for help.
Various methods were suggested and what followed could only be declared a very unsuccessful attempt to rid the building of rats. Sticky papers saw many rats stuck to it, but then somebody had to kill the buggers. Loud music that played all day long simply supplied fantastic atmosphere for the mating going on.
Traps shut down on willing loaders more often than on rat necks. The Sunday before the wedding, the congregation saw no real difference in the rat population.
That Monday morning, a man dressed in khakis showed up at the church. He worked alone and silently went from pew to pew where he left little bundles of rat poison. The rats loved this and some even ran after him to be the first to grab some poison. Silently he went through the whole building and finally closed the door behind him.
That night an old rat prophecy of the long dark night came true as rats died in heaps. Over the next few days they collected bags and bags of dead rats. An eerie silence hung over the church as the sound of tiny feet running everywhere died out. The bride was delighted and paid her well doer for his great job.
Saturday morning the florist was the first to enter the church. She rushed out again and nearly fainted in the arms of the priest. He too entered the church and his cries of disgust was heard for quite a distance as he went from window to window opening any that could do so. The stench of rotting rats inside the church soon filled the church garden as well.
The groom was called and he arrived with boxes full of sprays, powders and oils to help curb the stench, but this made very little impact. Fans were placed in the isles to move the thick air along. Those that spend a while inside the building declared that you do get used to the smells after a while, but they were not very convincing.
By three o’clock, the church smelled of everything people brought to help, mixed with rotting rat smells. The bride turned a faint green as she entered and walked down the isle, but as she was told in no certain terms – “You did this, deal with it”, she smiled feebly at her guests clutching tissues and handkerchiefs. The wedding was fast and to the point.
They say that the smell lasted for about two months, but some swear that on rainy days, they still get a whiff of their long lost companions.