Blog Schedule

I post on Monday with an occasional random blog thrown in for good measure. I do my best to answer all comments via email and visit around on the days I post.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dad's Rats

Before I was born Dad was involved with the nuclear bomb tests in Nevada. After I was born he worked in a lab that developed different technologies, like the radiation tags he invented for people who worked around radioactive material.  The lab also did various types of research with animals like dogs, pigs and rats.

Rats are excellent swimmers.
One of the experiments had to do with stamina. How long could a rat swim before it got so tired it would give up and sink?

Initial tests were exciting. The rats swam vigorously when first put in the tank of water. They swam and swam and swam until they got so tired their little front feet paddled just enough to keep their little noses poking out of the water, while the rest of their bodies sagged towards the bottom of the tank.

Eventually, of course, the rats sank at which point they were rescued from the bottom of the tank and put into their cages to recuperate.

But rats are not only good swimmers, they are smart. It didn't take them long to figure out they didn't need to expend energy and swim vigorously when first put into the water. Nope all they had to do was keep their little noses above water and they could stay afloat for a looooooooonnnnggggggggg time.

Thing is, the rats didn't leave it at that. They quickly realized that when they sank they got rescued. So, as soon as they were put into the tank of water, they didn't even bother swimming, they just sank!

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we may not have to struggle as vigorously as we often times do. Sometimes we should allow ourselves to sink in the sure and certain knowledge that we will be rescued.

I know it's happened to me. What about you? Have you ever let yourself sink only to find yourself suddenly rescued?


  1. I always learn interesting things about your family on your blog!
    That is smart of the rats to remember they were rescued!
    And yes, we all need to learn to use the help that is offered us!!

  2. Go rats! :) Awesome story. My family and close friends are my rescuers. So lucky to have them. :D

  3. I knew rats were smart, but that's amazing. I wonder if most people would be smart enough to let themselves sink, even if they knew they'd be rescued. Great story.

  4. I'm just not as smart as a rat. It would take me a loooooong time to just sink and be rescued. As to those mazes . . . I'd have to take a rat along to find my way out.

    Thanks for the great information. I may have to rethink that request for a pet rat, the one I say, "No way!" to.

  5. Okay, it is humbling to realise I am not as clever as a rat.

  6. I had pet rats while growing up. They made wonderful companions.

  7. Way cool. I assume you've read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.

  8. Niki, I'm happy to know someone else has had a pet rat. Lee...Are you listening?

    You bet, Vijaya, I have my own copy of the Rats of NIMH. Love it!

  9. Rats - yikes - not my favorite characters - except when they were in NIMH ;)

    Sinking - I don't even have to allow myself - I can do it with no assistance at all :(

    But you're right about learning from adversity. It's a great teacher. Isn't that why they say "sink or swim"?

  10. I may be sinking soon. I hope somebody's ready to rescue me. It's happened before so I should hope it will happen again.

    Tossing It Out

  11. Wow. Love this question. I have never consciously let myself sink to be rescued. Although I have been rescued, much to my delight.

  12. Hmmmmm, I don't know. If I write a really bad manuscript, will you rewrite it for me?

    Uh . . . I take it that's a no.

  13. Ya know, I think I have control issues, so it's kind of hard to let go even when I know things might work out okay.

  14. When I first read this, I thought of the old cliche, ...." like rats from a sinking ship." So I knew they could swim. Smart??? They sure know how to avoid going after the cheese in a live trap. :)


  15. We've had pet rats and they are amazing animals--intelligent, devoted, and very sweet. Hurray for rats.

  16. I love reading about intelligent animals. I think a lot of people might have more trouble than the rats in letting themselves sink, even if they "know" they'd be rescued. People would be afraid to trust it forever. But I'm so grateful for rescues from both God and people.


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