But our particular friends were the rats, that dwelt by the stream. They were long and black. We brought them such tidbits from our ordinary as rinds of cheese, and morsels of gristle, and we brought them also birds’ eggs, and frogs, and fledgelings. Sensible of these attentions, they would come flocking round us at our approach, with every sign of confidence and affection, and glide up our trouserlegs, and hang upon our breasts. And then we would sit down in the midst of them, and give them to eat, out of our hands, of a nice fat frog, or a baby thrush. Or seizing suddenly a plump young rat, resting in our bosom after its repast, we would feed it to its mother, or its father, or its brother, or its sister, or to some less fortunate relative.
It was on these occasions, we agreed, after an exchange of views, that we came nearest to God.