A Divine Mistake?

Dear Father up in Heaven,
Why create thou rats.
Six times out of seven
They even scare the cats.
Why create thy creature’s eye
So beady and so small,
With no redeeming features,
Why create thou them at all.

Your works indeed delight us,
How constant you deliver,
But rats do merely fright us
And cause our spine to shiver.
Why maketh one that litters
His dirt upon our plate,
Such ugly little critters
That all of man do hate.

How vile, how nauseating,
How he maketh us to cringe.
Doth he watch, anticipating
That indeed we may unhinge?
Under couches, under stairways,
Heaven help us… in our beds,
Where he crouches as the hairs raise
On the back side of our heads.

Despite our constant moppings,
Bleaching, cleansing… he’ll return.
He’ll leave his dirty droppings
Without the least concern.
A deliverer of rabies,
Typhoid fever, foot and mouth,
And several hundred babies
If we should so alloweth.

Such vermin are persistent
Though we leave no meat, nor crumb.
His habits are consistent
Thus… he will overcome.
He’ll cheweth rug or railing,
Plaster, plumbing, knife or sheath,
And nibbling on nailing
Only sharpens up his teeth.
We realize he’s clever,
Ingenuity hath he.
There’s naught his teeth won’t sever
And horrified are we.
His gnawings doth awaken
And will ne’er be forgot.
Unless we are mistaken,
Delightful he is not!

Despite our abolitions
And countless prayers and wishes,
He eateth our provisions
And fouleth up our dishes.
And Lord, although your sermon
Always teaches hate is sin,
We pray you’ll quash those vermin
Before they get within.

Why put the rat amidst us?
We only wish we knew.
To killeth you forbid’st us
So what are we to do?
A most perplexing problem
That causeth us to fret,
Is how on earth to clob them
And not face Judgement debt.

Pray Lord, forgive our whining
And questioning your plan,
But rats are undermining
The sanity of man.
The filthy little rat is
The reason that we quake,
And question Lord if that is
Your singular mistake.



Norma Pain was born in Liverpool, England and now lives in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada. Thirty of Norma’s poems were published by Dana Literary Society, between 2004 and 2007 and she was twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize by that same on-line poetry site. She self-published a book of rhyme in 2000 called Bulging Assets.

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22 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    As always, very humorous, Norma. Some of God’s creatures can indeed be a pain in the butt. Here it’s mosquitoes and roaches – that makes a trio of mistakes.

    • Norma Pain

      As a young child I remember my mother being so upset about roaches in the closet. Luckily I haven’t seen them anywhere since. We don’t have a lot of mosquitoes here on the west coast but any amount is too many. Thank you for commenting Paul.

  2. Mary Gardner

    ‘Tis perfect, Norma! You’ve employed witty, unexpected rhyme and meter, and thy mixed-up grammar addeth to the humor – à la Pound’s “Ancient Music” but without the offensive phrases.

    • Norma Pain

      That is a funny one by Ezra Pound. I am glad you enjoyed my rat-hate poem Mary and I appreciate your lovely comments.

  3. Warren Bonham

    Excellent poem. I agree with Paul that the list of mistakes is probably longer than one but it’s a very short list. I’m not a fan of snakes either – my wife has to deal with them.

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you for commenting Warren. You are lucky to have a wife brave enough to deal with snakes. I think a lot of anything “icky”, is horrifying.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    My wife, when referring to some disgusting and noxious insect or animal, always says “WHY do they exist?” as she melismatically draws out the WHY to three syllables.

    I must admit I have no answer to give her, except perhaps to suggest that God has a warped sense of humor. I can’t imagine what He was thinking when He came up with the scorpion and the tarantula.

    • Norma Pain

      I do believe God has a sense of humor. We just have to observe the animal kingdom creations and, on the other end of the scale, the insects, etc. Some very funny looking creations. Thank you for commenting Joseph and for the new word, ‘melismatically’.

  5. Roy Eugene Peterson

    Another one of your wonderfully humorous poems, but one that makes us stop, think, and wonder why as well!

    • Norma Pain

      I am so happy you enjoyed my silly poem Roy. I suppose there must be a reason for their being, but they are just so disgusting to look at. I think this is my third rat-hate poem. I could go on!!

  6. James Sale

    Nice one Norma. I thought initially that this poem was a cipher for the Woke! But it turns out not to be. And it is curious that despite the most determined efforts by mankind at various places and times, it seems almost impossible to eradicate the critters – and what is most irritating is the symbiotic relationship they seemed to have formed with us. I had an infestation of rats in my attic 2 years ago and it staggered even the pest control guy just how much poison had to be laid down to finally finish them off. Why? Why? Why? You’ve said it all – thanks.

  7. Norma Pain

    Thank you for commenting James. We had a few rats in a couple of previous homes, (so far none in our current residence). I made the mistake of borrowing the 2016 documentary ‘Rats’ from the local library. If you haven’t seen it, better not to, but…. if curiosity gets the better of you……
    I tried to attach the link but it didn’t work. It is on U-tube. Best horror movie I have ever wished I didn’t watch!!

  8. Phil S. Rogers

    Such an enjoyable poem this Sunday morning, with rhyme, wit, and humor.
    Had to read it twice, and show it to my wife.

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you for your lovely comments Phil and I am so happy that you enjoyed it.

  9. Jeff Eardley

    Great ratty stuff today Norma. I was squirming whilst reading. As brilliant as ever. Thank you for ensuring I get no sleep tonight.

    • Norma Pain

      You’re welcome Jeff…. really. If you can’t sleep tonight, you may as well sit up and watch the 2016 documentary ‘RATS’ on U-tube. Guaranteed to give you the heebie-jeebies! Thank you for commenting 🙂

  10. Lannie David Brockstein

    Norma, I suppose the opposite of “A Divine Mistake?” is a man-made one.

    I enjoyed reading your poem as though its speaker is the fictional character of Ann Craigis (as portrayed by Ingrid Goude) in the science fiction B-movie, “The Killer Shrews” (1959), which tells the story about that time when…

    >>> “A disparate group are trapped on a remote island by a hurricane. On the island, a doctor works to make humans twice as small as we already are. This, apparently, will help prevent over population.

    Unfortunately, his experiments have also created some giant shrews. As the shrews run out of smaller animals to eat, they start to target the people in the house as their next food source.”

    The Killer Shrews (1959) colorized: https://www.bitchute.com/video/CpDEj2oGKVAC/

    If ever there were to be a remake of that movie, it should feature your elegantly written poem!

    From Lannie.

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you Lannie for your lovely comments on my poem and for the link to the movie “The Killer Shrews”. It is interesting to watch the old horror movies and compare them to the more realistic ones we see today. I am not a fan of horror movies so this one was at my comfort level!!

  11. Daniel Kemper

    A pretty freakin’ funny romp… I wonder what the rat thinks. 😉 hee hee!

    • Norma Pain

      Thank you for commenting Daniel. If you want to see what the rat thinks, check out my poem “To the Residents down below”.

  12. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Norma, how did I miss this poetic gem?! This gratifying rat poem is the cat’s whiskers of the rodent poetry scene. Rats come in all shapes, sizes, and guises… I’ve met a fair few in my time, and your poem captures their very essence with creativity and humor – my favorite combination. Norma, thank you for the Sunday smile… a real Mother’s Day treat!

  13. Shamik Banerjee

    I thoroughly enjoyed your poem, Norma. What a great concept, although not unfamiliar at all. We have to deal with these “cat-frighteners” every now and then, don’t we? It was a delight to see the use of archaic English; I think it enhances the humorous essence of the piece. Thank you for this!


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