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Sojourner Truth Class Pet

Roonaina and Elizabeth (Grade 05 / Sojourner Truth) Originally published February 2005

Many people think that rats are scary because of the movies and books that cast the rat as a villain. People think that rats started the famous Black Plague that wiped out half of Europe. But rats are really not that scary or dirty at all.

Our teacher decided that we should get a class pet. We didn’t know what to get so we decided to do some research. Guest speakers from the Humane Society came to our school to talk about how to take care of pets. They taught us that it is important to do research on the animal of your choice. It is also important to “pet-proof” your home, or in this case classroom, so your pet will have a safer and better place to live. It took a lot of money to accommodate the rat. Our teacher, Ms. Anderson, has already bought the cage, the little hiding place, the rolling exercise ball, and the water bottle that the rat can drink from. Everyday our teacher has to call the Humane Society and ask if there are any rats. If you came to our classroom and saw the empty cage, you would know the answer.

Why do you need a pet? Good question. If you are lonely you might want someone to keep you company. Before you even think of getting supplies it’s really important to find what kind of pet is right for you and/or your family. Since rats have teeth that grow their whole life, rats need things to chew on. If you have carpet in your house make sure that the rat does not munch on it because it could become really ill.

Why a rat? Very few people know this but rats can make really great pets and friends. Have you seen Stuart Little? He isn’t really a rat but he is slightly smaller. The difference between a rat and a mouse is that a mouse is smaller and a rat is larger. Some people want bunnies, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and all other furry animals. But the problem with those animals is they really don’t like to be held a lot. And rats love to be held!

Rats, Rats, Rats! The rat is the most beautiful animal that you can hold. Rats may seem scary to some people, but once you get to know them, they could end up your best friend! Our class is getting a rat from the Humane Society or a pet store and we all hope that it is a rat that we all will love!

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