The Brass Rat
A business man flew into San Fransico for a series of meetings. He was in the habit of bring home some trinket or knik-knak for his wife when we went out of town.
As he stood at a taxi stand, he noticed a curio shop with a collection of oreintal objects d'art displayed in the window. He stepped inside to have a look around.
Near the back of the shop, behind a Ming Vase, he noticed a brass rat. He marveled at the life like detail, the perkyness of the eyes, the texture of fur and the smoothness of the long tail.
He asked the proprietor, a elderly Chinese gentlemen, about the price.
"Thirty five dollar" he asked "but, good sir, you must hear ledgend of brass rat!"
"I really don't have time. I have to catch a plane but I'll take the brass rat if you'll kindly wrap it up for me."
"Ahh, thank you for business, but you really must hear ledgend!"
"No thanks!" and with that he picked up the neatly wrapped brass rat and bolted out the door. There he noticed a rat sitting on his haunches looking up at him. It followed him to the taxi stand where 3 more appeared from the storm drain. The business man stepped around the corner, 5 more rats joined the growing pack. As he reached the end of the block, rats came from all directions and he began to quicken his pace.
As he reached the second block there must have been a hundred rats right at his heels. He looked up and down the cross streets and a hundred more approached from each direction. Now he was in a flat out run, and so were thousands of rats. A head was a taxi.
With sweat pouring from his face, and with out asking, he yanked open the taxi door and crashed into the back seat.
"Drive mister," he shouted, "Drive to the bay docks, as fast as you can!" and the taxi sped away. With some luck, they made it through several traffic lights. But their luck ran out and the driver stopped for a red light. The rats clawed and scratched at the car.
"DRIVE, DRIVE!!" shouted the business man. Now the driver was aware of 100,000 rats teeming in the streets, and in a panic, floored the gas and went speeding toward the bay, half a million rats in hot persuit.
The taxi slid to a stop, the business man sprang from the car and sprinted down the dock, headed to the bay, the brass rat tucked tightly under his arm. The rats swarmed around the taxi and chased him down the dock.
Breathless and exhausted, he reached the end of the dock and hurled the brass rat into the bay and quickly shimmied up a lamp post. He clung there for more than a hour, as wave after wave of rats, untold millions of them, scampered across the dock, dove into the water and drowned.
Presently he slid down the lamp post, ragged and disheveled. As the sun began to set on the bay, he made his way back to the curio shop.
He met the elderly Chinese proprietor as he was locking up his shop.
"Ah, good sir, now you want hear ledgend of brass rat" said the Chinese elder.
"No, not really" said the businessman
"Then why you come back to humble shop?"
"To see if you had any brass lawyers"