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The LabRat Adventures
It was a raining when the stranger entered the Diner.
“You mean it was a Dark and Stormy Night?”
No. I mean that it was raining. It was daytime, and the rain was warm and gentle. It was a good thing, too, or the stranger would have looked like a ‘drowned rat’.
His fur was black from his head to just above his tail. There was a small patch of white at his throat and at the end of each forepaw. His belly and hind legs were white, giving the impression that he was wearing a tuxedo and tails. “Scoo-bee-doo-bee-doo, bee-doo-bee-doo-bee” he sang quietly as he looked around.
A small black furred head looked out from the back booth. Soon others peaked out from under other booths and one even looked out from the window into the kitchen. The first rat made his way up the the stranger and introduced himself. “I’m Ratley, manager of LabRats, Inc. and supervisor of this crew. What can we do for you, Sir?”
“M’name’s Dean, my good fellow. I seem to have misplaced my Pack and thought I’d stop in for a cuppa Joe.” He looked around at the other rats. "Any chance of that,Sir?"
"Sure" said the large rat. He raised his voice and called back to the kitchen: "Ratso, cup of coffee for the customer!" Turning back, he saw that the newcomer was looking around at the other rats. His gaze lingered on two under the jukebox. "That's YouDirtyRat imitating a dust bunny and Nestor is the one tangled in the electrical cord. Ratso helps out in the kitchen and handles supplies. Ratface is the one chasing his tail and Ratfink is off somewhere up to no good. We're the cleaning and maintenance crew for this Diner. We've also been known to help out with serving."
"And the humans? They *allow* this?" the newcomer asked.
"Sure, ever since Speaker to Lab Animals found us we've been helping out here. The people are nice if a bit strange and we get all the scraps we want. Speaker's that great big human in the booth. He thinks says he's a scientist or something, but he lets us get away from the lab for a bit each day.
"So, what lab are you from, and what experiments have you participated in?" asked Ratley.
"Well, that's a long story" said Dean.
"That's okay, we've got time. It will take the lads a while to carry that cup of coffee all the way out here…"
[to be continued next week in "Life in the Lab"]