Big Bill Backward’s True-Faced Western Tales, 10: Byzantium for Mice

Last time I looked up a rat, Big Bill Backwards drawled, I saw me a lil Noah’s ark n the animals wavin n sayin kin we all come down yet?

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Did I say it was a ra-ra rat? Big Bill Backwards continued, tho he was lying on a mesa in a mess all alone. Rats don’t come rarer than that.

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Got it into my head rats were toobular or telescopic – couldn’t get it out n couldn’t work out which. Just then this ole rat shimmied past…

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Course the worst rats are Moon Rats. They call themselves mice but don’t let that fool yuh none. DNA’s mostly some kinda amphibian, anyways.

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Used ta be a proud civilisation, so they say, till them cicadas took over. I been down their burrows n there ain’t nuthin proud about em.

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Gnawed out half the Moon before we got there. Made themselves cathedrals outa dried macaroni, cheese n zircon. Real purty mo-say-hics.

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I was tradin in mica back then. Moon Rats valued it highly doo to an etymological misunderstandin that led em to suppose it wus made outa mice.

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They had them great mo-say-hics of their holiest rats, all made outa lunar minerals, n they wanted mica fur the halos. Who was I to argue?

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The other quantity in which I did trade wus earplugs, on account uh the incessant Moon Cicada music-makin that goes on. Earplugs fur rats.

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Never seen nuthin as dumb as them Moon Rats livin in old lunar modules they dragged under that dome showin their ‘Pon-tee-kos Panto-krater’.

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They all dress in old US flags n plastic crowns n earplugs, and this giant rat stares down with million year old meteorites fer eyes…

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…anyways, this rat shimmied past, n I thought I’d look me up some old buddies on the Moon. So I picked him up n twisted his neck n peered.

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N lo n behold he was neither a telescope nor particularly telescopic in his reaction. Got me an eyeful uh moon-rat that night n no mistake.

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Well I think about that ark I saw up that rat’s behind a whole lot – an asshole lot. Wus it the gee-nu-ine Ark? N wus it here, or on the Moon?

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