It is reported that the rat population in Paris has doubled following new legislation by the EU banning the usual effective means of control.

Paris has got a plague of rats,
Due in part to the silly prats,
Who back in Brussels make the laws,
In this case all containing flaws,
Which say what French rats can be fed,
To help them change from live to dead.

The staple diet used to be,
Some poisoned biscuits – two or three –
Dropped down into the creatures’ nests,
Which managed to control the pests.

But biscuits have now been removed,
From rodent menus – that’s their food –
And things put in to take their place,
Might well result in loss of face.

For rats now dining à la carte,
Seem really to be pretty smart,
And they can tell, main course or sweet,
Which things they will find safe to eat.

Rat catchers who can be quite rude,
Have criticised this rodent food,
But though the city has been fooled,
The EU has still overruled.

This overruling could just be,
Because the EU folk might see,
That if rats go someone may quip,
They’re deserting a sinking ship!

But then one day the Paris mayor,
Announced that he’d good news to share;
He’d found a man, he did explain,
Who worked in southern France and Spain,
And if the city would him pay,
He’d lead the rats all right away.

The people said, “This man’s a fake,
We’re sure he will our money take.
He surely can’t control the rats,
Unless he’s got ten thousand cats.”

The mayor said, “No, no cats at all,
His method will have us in thrall.
I’m certain that he hasn’t lied,
For he is called the Piper Pied.”

The people said, “We thought as much,
This man is German, Czech or Dutch.
You can’t believe this fairy tale,
Unless you have been drinking ale.

But if you think it’s worth a try,
Then when his services you buy,
Be quite sure that before you pay,
All rats are gone – black, brown and grey.

Then if they’ve gone don’t think to cheat,
The piper or he might deplete,
The city of its girls and boys,
And though that might mean much less noise,
So that with silence we’d be blessed,
Of strategies it’s not the best!”

Image – Wikimedia commons

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