Even a Rat can Save your life!
There was an elderly man in West Virginia who was a coal miner. He owned the mine he worked in, but he often noticed that he was sharing the dark tunnel with another creature-a rat. This was a unique rat that would always seem to stay near him as he worked. It was as if the rat was keeping him company-and vise versa.
Over a period of several months, the two became quite content with each other. They had established some patterns that worked well, and one might even say they had a kind of bonding with each other.
When the miner would sit down to eat from his lunch box, he would always feed the rat some scraps from his own meal. When it came time to fire the shots that would bring down a coal face, the miner made sure to chase the rat away so it would not be injured in the blast.
One day, while the miner was working alone in the mine, the rat appeared to be unduly agitated. It scurried back and forth, running up to the miner, then running off. It repeated this behavior so often that the miner began to get the feeling that the little rat was trying to tell him something.
Intrigued as to what in the world this was about, the miner put down his drill and followed the rat around the corner to see if he could find out what was bothering the little creature. The miner had just barely moved away from the mining face of the coal mine when the roof collapsed. The cave in of the roof had occurred exactly in the spot the miner had been standing in!
The author is Ian Currie, University of Toronto lecturer