Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wet as a Drowned Rat

Monday, July 13, 2009

Before each Catch of the Day Seining program at Beczak Environmental Education Center, I, my coworkers, or volunteers always evaluate the beach, move driftwood, pickup garbage and set up our equipment. Today, when the interns and I went down to the beach, we smelled something bad. Something rotting. I took a look at the high tide line and found not just one, but two dead river rats washed up with flies buzzing all around them and part of their fur gone. They must have drowned during the storm.

That was a first for all of us. As we removed the corpses from the water, I thought about that expression “wet as a drowned rat.” I looked it up and found that this simile appeared in Latin nearly 2,000 years ago, and in English about the year 1500. What we discovered on Beczak’s beach was nothing new.

Dorene Sukup