The lie, the rat, and the aubergine

Bakers Posted by Paul and Tania Baker on Fri, 20 Jan 2017 | 6 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Our last few blogs have been a bit serious. We’ll try and lighten up a bit in 2017. Tania isn’t so happy about me telling this story since it’s about a ‘white lie’ … but I think it needs to be told.

One of Tania’s roles in the hospital involves running the Guest House. This is where international medical, nursing and physio students stay when they’re doing their four- to eight-week placement here.

Last January we had six students – two from Germany, one from England and three from Northern Ireland.

Almost exactly one year ago to the day, we were at home – Lana was sleeping and we were getting organised for bed. We heard a noise outside – some people were on the veranda and it sounded like someone was crying. Tania looked out the window and saw the three Irish girls. They were in some distress.

So that Lana wasn’t wakened, Tania went outside to talk to them. From inside all I could hear was crying and Tania trying to calm things down in her motherly way. I assumed it was ‘girl issues’ and stayed well clear but Tania called me to the door.

It turned out that they were having their dinner, sitting around the table in the Guest House, when a rat fell out of the ceiling and landed beside them. The three girls from NI ran straight out of the house and were refusing to go back in until the rat was caught. I had to go and try to catch it.

So, off I went with a few rat traps and my ‘man-powers’. I’ve never been too keen on rats but being the husband of the Guest House manager brings certain assumed duties.

We got to the Guest House. The three stayed well outside. They weren’t going near the house until the rat was caught. I went inside and found the three other students fearlessly scouring the kitchen and dining area with sticks, kitchen utensils and a badminton racket.

We spent a good 20 minutes trying to find the furry intruder. I laid down the traps, checked behind the oven, fridge, cupboards – no rat to be found. It was getting a bit ridiculous – the rat had probably run out the door – I needed to think of a way to get the three girls back in the house. Then I spotted an old, wrinkly aubergine on the vegetable rack. It had quite a long tail-like stem and was a similar size, colour and shape as a rat. I had a plan.

I agreed the plan with my fellow German and English rat-catchers. It was the only way. We would take this secret to the grave.

They screamed, I ran out the front door of the Guest House into the dark night, past the three Irish girls and threw the aubergine by the tail as far as I could over the fence into the neighbouring field.

I was a hero. A very guilty feeling hero. The students were very relieved and grateful… “Paul, thank you sooo much!” They made their way back into the Guest House. I made a quick exit. Job done. Sort of.

Tania wasn’t very impressed but she did unintentionally chuckle.

About 30 minutes later I was sitting up in bed reading a book about improving one’s man-powers. Tania was out for the count. Everything was very silent outside – and then there was a choir of screams from the Guest House. Yes, the actual rat was caught in a trap. I tried to contain the noise of my laughter by holding my nose.

My co-conspirators from Germany and England kept the story going. Now the three Irish girls thought there were two rats… what if they had babies!? One lie led to another… “we don’t ever get rats in the guest house”… “Ugandan rats keep their babies outside”…

There’s no moral, Bible reference or thought-provoking point to this blog – it’s just a wee story. I should say that there have been no more rats in the Guest House since we discovered their secret entry in the upstairs bathroom wall. I should also say that on their last night, around the campfire outside our house, the German students told the truth… “I knew it so I did!”



Gillian Barr said Fri, 20 Jan 2017 01:13PM
This really made me chuckle. :-)
Jackie Burton said Fri, 20 Jan 2017 01:26PM
I can't believe a missionary lied... but I did fully appreciate this blog, and laughed alot. Love... one of those Irish girls!!! Maybe I can actually come back to Kiwoko now theres less risk of rats!! :)
Rachel Martin said Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:30PM
Remember hearing about this story! Did make me chuckle! Just glad you sorted the rat problem out before we arrived! Hope all is going well 😊
Lorraine Graham said Sat, 21 Jan 2017 12:11PM
That is a good story. BSUSWFYO comes to mind tho😇
Dawn Adams said Thu, 26 Jan 2017 11:36PM
This is the best rat story ever!!! I have heard the girls version in work but this takes it to a whole new level 😹😹😹
Campbell McLearnon said Sun, 29 Jan 2017 08:58PM
They say you are never more than three metres away from a rat at any time in so-called Western Civilisation. I reckon in Africa they are much closer............!

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