A small girl of about twelve ran down the alley. She had light brown hair and dark brown eyes. She was dressed in raggedy breeches and tunic; she had bare feet that went slap-slap-slap as she ran. She was holding a small loaf of bread, stolen from the bakery. She ducked down into a hole and crawled through a tunnel into a small room. The floor was covered with rags, there was a small low table with a few little things on it in one corner. A few rats ran across the floor and scurried into tunnels. She called out softly to one and it stopped and stood on its hind legs to look at her. She scooted over to it and picked him up. He sat contentedly in her hands while she stroked his dark brown fur.

She broke off a piece of the bread and gave it to him, which he took in his paws and sniffed it over then took it in his mouth, hopped off her hands and ran down into a little hole. Closing her eyes she followed…

She was a rat. She ran along through the drain, her little feet going pitter-patter pitter-patter. Sniffing at the air she quickly navigated her way through the sewers, following the brown rat ahead of her. Soon the small drain opened up into a larger tunnel, she jumped down and landed with a splash in the shallow water.

Pausing for a moment she ran around in the water splashing water everywhere then continued on her way back to the nest. When the water got deeper she plunged in her short legs paddling swiftly.

Her small round ears perked for the tiniest noise she climbed out of the water and into another tunnel, this one drier. Squinting she saw another rat, she pattered up to sniff at it to see if it was family. Smelling that it was not she bit the other right sharply on the shoulder and drove it away from the tunnel, then continued on her way. She turned sharply and climbed up a concrete grate then through a small tunnel then into a large den, all dark, warm and cozy. A litter of pinks was over in one corner. The other litter in the other corner already had their fur. She trotted over to them and sniffed at them climbing over and under other rats; her family, her friends. They were a team.

Echo's of "You huhs?" and "me huhs," traveled around the den. The rats had their own language, a simple one, but never the less.

"Cheese, huh?" she asked the rat with only half a ear, "you half-ear huh?"

Half-ear was his name; she called her self Sandy on account that her fur was a pale brown color rather than the mixed dark brown and blacks of the other rats.

"Sandry huh?" he asked back then trotted off. She followed him into the storage room where there was no cheese. She picked up a nut and broke it open then ate the contents.

She'd be going out again tonight to go with some other younger rats and older rats for food. She wondered briefly who'd the taster be. She'd tasted food once, luckily it was not poisoned and after several hours the other rats decided she was not going to get sick and die from it and they ate part of it bringing some back for the other rats. They'd probably bring one of the younger males along and he'd be the taster. She briefly played with some of her sisters then trotted out of the den again and back into the sewers.