Oh, Rats

We were telling stories over a lazily crackling campfire.

"There was this ship, crossing the ocean. Had too many rats. So many rats, that the sailors were in danger of starving.

"Before they had so little food they had to turn back, one sailor came up with an idea. He built a big metal box out of scraps from the ship stores, and inside he put the best of the food that remained to the sailors. The rats took the bait. Within a day, all the ship's rats were in the box and the sailor slammed the door closed. He left them to starve.

"But the rats didn't starve. Each day when the sailors checked the box, there were fewer rats. But no dead rats. When the opened the box on the third day, there was only one rat left. It was the biggest, fiercest rat in the whole bunch. And it was hungry.

"When the ship came into port, there weren't any sailors left. Just one rat."

"That's a great story," I said, and everyone agreed. But I would have liked it more if this hadn’t been our second night lost in the woods during our team-building exercise.