The Other I

October 2, 2020

The Great Rat Award

Filed under: Just Stuff — theotheri @ 3:31 pm

No, this is not ironic. This really is a cheerful – even encouraging – bit of news.

Magawa, a giant rat has won a prestigious gold medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross, for his contribution to saving human lives. Although the award has been given to dogs and horses, Magawa is the first rat to be recognized in this way.

Meet Magawa, the Hero Rat awarded bravery medal for clearing landmines

Magawa can detect buried land mines much faster than metal detectors used by us humans, and has found hundreds in Cambodia in the equivalent of 20 football pitches. Close to 7,000 people were killed by landmines in 2016, thousands more remain, and clearing them is essential to removing them for the safety of farmers, children, even people walking to get water for their villages where it is not available.

It does underline once again that we are all in this together. We not only need each other in human terms. Other living organisms can see, hear, intuit, sense things that we cannot, and we need them.

I have for many years put spiders I find crawling around inside the house back into the garden rather than stamping them out if at all possible, because spiders are the best controllers of bugs that we know. Even with all our sprays, we cannot do what spiders do.

I have never, though, thought to be grateful for rats. But Magawa is changing my mind.


  1. Any thoughts on writing a book on life so far?


    Comment by tskraghu — November 27, 2020 @ 10:17 am | Reply

    • I have been processing the timing of your comment with more thought than you might imagine. My husband died several weeks ago, obviously leaving a huge gap in my life that had been filled by the gift of our 50-year-old relationship. Right now I am overwhelmed with the practical things required from me as his surviving spouse, and am not doing much else. Right now I can’t imagine ever wanting to write about my own life in any biographical format. I remember some years ago when I was interviewed by the BBC about my life the interviewer saying that I’d lived a “very interesting life.” Yes, I agree. But everyone’s life is interesting — some of us just realize it. (Maybe we’re just a little bit more egocentric?) In any case, I have no desire to be a celebrity in any sense. Privacy is a huge value for me. I suspect you understand.

      Liked by 2 people

      Comment by theotheri — December 2, 2020 @ 9:57 am | Reply

      • Am so sorry to hear about your loss. I understand what you’re saying. A vey difficult and trying time indeed after 50 years of companionship. Sometimes one wishes desperately for Time to freeze at a moment we cherish. .

        Pls accept my condolences over the loss and apologies for a thoroughly inopportune message.


        Comment by tskraghu — December 2, 2020 @ 10:09 am | Reply

        • Thank you so much for your condolences. Wishing we could freeze time sometimes describes my feelings succinctly. Your earlier comment was in no way inopportune and requires no apology. While I wish I could freeze time, what I am looking at is the realization that my life now requires a major re-orientation, and your comment helped me reflect on that in a profound way, asking myself what I do, and what I don’t, now want to change.

          Liked by 1 person

          Comment by Terry Sissons — December 2, 2020 @ 4:26 pm

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