Rat People

Every 12 years a new sign comes along and the first sign of the Chinese Astrology zodiac is the rat and I have known some rats.  My dad being born in 1924 was a rat.  Last year we had the Earth Pig and next year will be the Metal Ox.  A vicious cycle continues through the five elements which is also called the Five Movements, Five Phrases, Five Steps or Five States of Change where Wood fuels fire, Fire forms earth (volcanoes, ash, etc.), Earth contains metal, Metal carries water (buckets, pipes, etc.) and Water feeds wood (trees, plants, etc.).  The element of Fire is associated with the Snake and the Horse zodiac signs and Earth is for the Ox, Dragon, Goat and Dog, Metal is the Monkey and the Rooster and Water is the Pig and the Rat.  It has been 60 years since we last had the Metal Rat back in 1960, as sixty years divided by the twelve signs will give you the five elements.

What will happen in the new year, we will most likely be vulnerable to an attack by Iran, but we don’t know where will they strike us.  They could hit Silicon Valley causing an earthquake like in that James Bond movie A View To A Kill and that might result in the disappearance of S.V.  I read that the Chinese will make a New Year’s resolution just like the rest of us do.  The holiday is also called “Spring Festival” and the Chinese look forward to a holiday week being a new beginning, because of the promise that spring is coming.  Nothing says spring more to me than seeing a baby bird emerge or ascend from an aerie, whether it is an eagle’s nest, that of a falcon, hawk, or other bird of prey.  These birds usually make their nests in airy places, high in the air to stop other predators from reaching them.  Birds use a variety of methods to protect themselves and their offspring against enemies.  Sometimes, a bird will try to distract an intruder from its nest by making a noisy disturbance, but they are not able to call out fore, like people do to warn others on the golf course that a golf ball is being hit in their direction.

Rats are often associated with sewers and other dirty places, however the word microcephaly which is derived from the Greek language meaning “small head” is a condition where the head (circumference) is smaller than normal.  In Pakistan, they practice the novel custom of marrying their cousins, which may be the reason behind so many microcephaly cases cropping up there.  These children are known as rat people, because their sloping foreheads and narrow faces tend to give them a rodent like quality.  According to human rights groups, hundreds of young children are being exploited because of an ancient fertility tradition that leaves many children deformed and sold into begging.

A local legend, tells infertile women to go pray at Shah Daula’s shrine if they want to be granted children, but this comes at a terrible price where their first child will be born with microcephalic condition and it must be given to the shrine, or else any further children will have the same deformity.  This illicit practice has caused thousands of disabled children to become beggars at the shrine, as seeing their deformity will elicit emotions of sympathy.  The shrine stopped officially accepting microcephaly children in the 1960s when the government took over the site.  Some people feel that the small skulls and protruding noses and ears is a mix between Down’s syndrome and mongoloid children.  When people are living on less than four dollars a week, they are likely to put their children on the roads and make them beg.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Ascend, for Roger Shipp’s Daily Addictions prompt – Stop, for the Daily Spur prompt – Novel, for FOWC with Fandango – Vulnerable, for December Writing Prompts – The disappearance of S.V., for Ragtag Community – New beginnings, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Saturday Mix Double Take – Homophones hosted by weejars aka Sarah where she asks us to write about these homophone sets aerie – eagle’s nest, airy – breezy, and elicit – to draw out, illicit – unlawful, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Fore Four For, for GC and Sue W Weekly Prompts Word/Photo Color challenge – White Metal Rat and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Resolution.

9 thoughts on “Rat People

  1. Don’t really follow astrology, eastern or western, but it would seem like there’s wisdom we don’t understand in some of the Chinese teachings. I don’t like rats but I’d guess they are honored due to their ability to adapt and thrive in any sort of environment (?)

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    1. I don’t follow that either Dave and like you said rats always seem to thrive in any type of environment and scientists predict that the last life left on our planet will be the cockroach.

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