Lessons on Love from a Rat

Quiet New Mexico Desert

Hill View in the Quiet New Mexico Desert

     Walking back to my desert retreat

I saw something unusual hanging down from a wire cage surrounding a young tree. It was dangling in free-fall, its hind-quarters pinned inside the wire cage. Eyes closed, pink ear lobes quivering, breaths short and shallow – a desert rat. Tempted by the young green leaves he must have entered the cage and on his departure, got stuck. Now he was in a life and death struggle.

Hanging Desert Rat

Hanging Desert Rat

Being in silence, I motioned for Chris to come then went to a tool shed and grabbed wire-cutters and gloves.  Life force was oozing from the rat as Chris cut it free from the cage.

Cutting Rat Free

Cutting Rat Free

We looked at its underside, there was no obvious damage, no blood, but it was in shock and when we lay it down it moved forward to nestle on top of straw mulch material.


I sat with the rat, sending him thoughts of peace and healing then left him snuggled up close to nearby rocks. Later I went to check on him again, he had moved a bit, dragging his legs behind.

The sun was rising higher and higher, heating up the desert floor. I wondered if his body could survive the intensity.

Fifteen minutes passed before I returned to where he lay. He had moved into the shade, his eyes still closed, his breathing now a soft and delicate out take and return. I talked to him, “Let go, let go, all is well, all is very well, be at peace.”

It seemed my wishes for a peaceful departure were premature.

Suddenly he sat up, opened his eyes and looked directly at me, and if rats can smile, well this one did! I felt its Love, yes sounds strange, Love – and it seemed some sort of gratitude. The only difference, between me and him was our packaging.

Then he shut his eyes again and fell back into quietude.


Five minutes later…..I filled a small container top with water, maybe the rat would appreciate a drink. But when I approached him, he scrambled off into the desert – no problem with those legs!

All right Mr. Rat! Guess you just needed to pull all your energies inward for a while.

Rats – our conditioning has placed rats high on the aversion scale. Most of us would rather avoid them.

Yet, if we listen with our hearts there is an intimacy with all creation, an intimacy that goes beyond all form, revealing itself as us –revealing Itself as Love. 

St. Francis - Friends to All Creatures

St. Francis – Friend to All Creatures


About smallpebbles

A simple life unfolding moment by moment
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5 Responses to Lessons on Love from a Rat

  1. KM Huber says:

    I was right there with the tears as well but I had this feeling all might be well, and it was. What a wonderful heart you have, as the rat acknowledged. Beautiful post and thank you.

    • smallpebbles says:

      How Sweet! All life-forms our teachers ay? Especially the ones we might turn away from do to conditioning. Thank you KM…..shanti….kai

  2. Jayashri Fairclough says:

    Sweet connection.

  3. risinghawk says:

    Beautiful story! I’m glad the rat survived, I was starting to tear up – such a softie I am for animals. You did a wonderful thing. Namaste . . .

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