Yes, we humans all die. Too bad, but we weren’t that nice after all

Sylvia WhitemanNovember 16, 202213:08

When I walked out of the supermarket I saw three small figures scurrying around under the trees of the Museumplein. Squirrels? Yes, that would be nice, but it turned out to be rats. Rats are fun too, by the way. I have fond memories of our late Polly and Miep, who could peel an egg so happily chirping, ah, with those cuddly little hands!

Moments later I saw a fourth rat cross Van Baerlestraat, hastily but not panicked, tiny iPhone in the left front paw, thimble-sized paper coffee cup in the right, in the direction of the stop of line 3. “Mama, look!” , a little boy cried, pointing enthusiastically, but his mother pulled him away, as if from a raging fire.

Housemate P. doesn’t like rats either. ‘But they look just like squirrels, don’t they?’ I used to say conjuringly when he watched with horror again how good Miep nestled snugly on my shoulder, his whiskers tickling my neck. But no. ‘That stare’ he grumbled. “That bald, scaly tail…”

I don’t think you can discriminate against someone because of their tail. By the way, those squirrels are always nibbling nuts in public, but I once saw a giant squirrel eat a mouse. They are secretly just bloodthirsty cannibals, with their sanctimonious, pompous bushy tails, which must also be crawling with fleas.

‘Bon appétit, guys’ I said kindly to the rats under the trees of the Museumplein. They looked up from their flattened frikandel bun, and I continued my way in the direction of the ice rink opposite the Rijksmuseum. It is installed there every year around this time, rain or shine. By the way, it was sunny and windless, ideal skating weather in itself, only about 15 degrees too warm.

‘This can’t be done, can it?’ a girl of about 20 years old exclaimed shrilly. ‘An artificial ice rink, while the earth warms up?’ The boy next to her spoke soothingly, “I’m sure that’s not real ice, but plexiglass or something…” Well. Incidentally, next to the ice rink was a café terrace with incandescent stoves. The girl looked at it, speechless with anger.

Yes, with that climate it will undoubtedly end badly. We humans are all going through it. Too bad, but we weren’t that nice after all. Once again I passed the scurrying rats under the trees. They’ll manage, I thought, even if we’re all dead. They may have to learn to bake frikandel rolls themselves, but rats are very smart, so that will be fine.

Blessed are the bald tails; they will inherit the earth.