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Rat King or Pope on a Rope
" The term ' rat king' is used to describe a bizarre phenomenon in which a number of rats - 6 to 20... -form a circle, heads out, with their tails knotted together. The entwined group is cared for by other rats in the pack and the animals seem to live for some time after the formation of the king . " Barbara Hodgson

"In psecutione extrema S.R.E. sedebit
Petrus Romanus, qui
pascet oues in mul-
tis tribulationibus :
quibus transactis ci-
uitas septicollis di-
ruetur, & Iudex tre
mêdus iudicabit po
pulum suum. Finis."- st. malachy, attributed.

and so it happens- the rat king whirling around, scattering the faithful about in heaps of fear, screaming in intoxication. the tribulations?- there are always tribulations and it always seems like apocalypse is coming ashore, precariously placed to slide out of your lips like an errant word, a lost thought, a forgotten moment.

they parade the rat king through the village so everyone can have a look- then seal it/them under glass- a pickled punk- the mob frozen in mid-riot.

tails tied together. you are one.

'de labore solis' slips away. but who is 'gloria olivae'?

the tail the rat seems most disturbing.

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Your post prompted me to do a Google search on rat kings, having no idea until today that such a thing existed. Good glory, what a world. And oh, the metaphorical impact...

I had pet rats and quite frankly my flesh crawls at the whole rat king thing. i broached the topic with my cats- they looked horrified, called their lawyer, and then said it's not in their job descriptions to go after a spinning wheel of rats- i guess if there's a rat king in the basement i am on my own.

This whole horrible rat king revelation has been stuck in my head since this morning. My first impulsive emotion was about how very sad it is -- these poor intelligent creatures bound together and virtually immobile. Then my next thought was for the compassion of the other, non-bound rats in the colony who sometimes care for the king rats, bring them food and try to keep them clean.

I thought, gosh, one quick chop with a very sharp razor blade could free them (they can survive fine without a tail). But could they actually then function outside of "the collective?" When I used to write fiction I avoided sci-fi, but this subject has one brewing in my head...

its a completely intriguing image- the more you think about it the weirder the possiblities become ...an entity provoking great fear- compounded into a wheel , a king yet doomed by it's very existence to it's own destruction.

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