Who Caught the Rat?

I grew up in a house with five siblings. We had fun. A lot of fun. We lived with only our mother. My father came to stay with us only on weekends. I enjoyed living in the house with brothers and sisters. There was always much to do and always something happening and something was always going on. One telling on the other, one picking on the other. Anyway, we used to play a lot of games back when we were growing up as kids. Games like Red Light Green Light, Hide-’n-Seek, shooting marbles, and we also had a basketball goal nailed up on a tree, beside our house, right outside the side door. Get this, my mom used to come outside and get in the dirt with us and shoot marbles. Until I was grown I still remember she had a shoe box from Thom McCann Shoe Stores and it was full to the top with marbles she won from playing. I remember the kids used to say, “Mom, are you going to keep the marbles?” and she’d say, “Yes! I won them, didn’t I?” Well, I guess fair is fair, after all, she did win them. Another game we used to play was while we were sitting around the dinner table in the evenings having supper. The name of this was ‘colors’, whoever thought to play it would announce, “Let’s play colors!” Then that person would look around the kitchen and set their eyes on an object in the kitchen.Now remember this was back in the late sixties and in our house we lived in was one of those you call it a ‘shotgun house’ or an ‘old Conch house’. It was located at 307 Olivia Street, here in Key West. It is still standing today. The kitchen was all there was. There was no such thing as a dining room. And also, that was when people used to have their whole kitchen done in wild color wall paper that you cut to size and peel off the back and press it to the wall. Then we had all sort of decorations on the walls and a shelf with a bunch of cans of seasonings for food and we just about had every can of seasoning they ever made back then, plus we had curtains and all sort of things cluttering the kitchen. Anyway, we would set our eyes on an object and look away from it and we say what color the object is and everyone else would have to guess what object it was. Well, needless to say, we had a lot of objects to guess from in that kitchen. That was fun. My three brothers used to climb the big tree in the back yard. As a matter of fact, they built a tree house in the tree, and I remember about 20 years ago I had the privilege of going back there and there was still boards nailed up from the tree house from all those years ago. We used to have so much fun. It was only a two bedroom house and my mom had the first bedroom and the second bedroom was for all us kids. There were two beds in the room, one for the boys which was three of them, and one bed for me and my sister. Oh, and the bathroom was off from the kitchen. That was all to that house. We had a lot of fun back then but just like we had a lot of fun and played a lot of games, we had a lot of rules and regulations. I left out telling you that we had rats in the night. You know this house is one of those that have the big old bricks on cinder blocks that the house sat on. Well, one of those rules where to never under no circumstances put a rat trap in the oven. Well, needless to say, one of my brothers or maybe my sister (I don’t know to this very day who did it), but one morning I heard my mom asking every one of us individually, ”Who put the rat trap in the oven?” Everyones answer was the same, “Not me!” “Not me!” “Not me!” After asking everyone she ask this question out loud so everyone could hear it, “Then who caught the rat?” And everyone yelled out, “Me!” “Me!” “Me!” “I caught the rat!” “I caught it!”

by, Miss Tracy


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