Mother was cooking supper while Rat Boy was looking after his sister, Cecilia.
“Rat Boy,” said Mother. “Dinner is ready.”
Rat Boy sat Cecilia in her high chair. He sat beside her while Mother dished out dinner. Rat Boy notices the large portion of food Mother gave to him and Cecilia and he also noticed the small portion Mother had on her own plate.
“Mother,” said Rat Boy, giving some of is food to her. “You need to eat as well.”
“Don’t worry about me,” said Mother. “You and Cecilia need the food more than I do.”
“What are we going to do?” asked Rat Boy. “We barely have enough food to eat. Other rat families seem to be thriving but we are close to starving.”
“I admit that since your daddy passed away that things have been tough,” said Mother. “I have made a decision but I am going to need your help.”
“You know I will help you in any way that I can,” said Rat Boy.
“I am going to need you to babysit Cecilia,” said Mother. “I have decided to get a job. I start work tomorrow morning.”
“I can babysit Cecilia,” said Rat Boy. “She is always good when she is with me.”
“Yes,” agreed Mother. “She is. At least right now, it is summer so you don’t have to worry about school. Now, I know you are pretty young yourself but you are a lot more mature than any rat I know.”
“We will be okay,” said Rat Boy. “You go to work and I will look after Cecilia.”
“Thank you,” said Mother, kissing Rat Boy on the cheek.
Mother went to work the next morning. She was nervous about leaving her children alone but she knew they would be alright. She also knew that she had to go to work because she had to provide for her family. She wasn’t going to let her children starve.
While Mother was at work during the day, both Rat Boy and Cecilia cleaned up the house. While Cecilia was napping, Rat Boy started supper. Mother came home from work to her beautiful rat children, a clean house and dinner almost cooked.
“Thank you,” said Mother, when she tucked Rat Boy in for the night. “I am so proud of you.”
On payday, Rat Boy’s friend, Harvey, came over to see Rat Boy.
“That new movie is playing tonight,” said Harvey. “Do you want to go?”
“I can’t,” said Rat Boy. “We don’t have enough money.”
“Rat Boy,” said Mother, who overheard the conversation between Rat Boy and Harvey. “I want you to go to the show with Harvey. You have worked so hard helping me this past week. I wouldn’t have been able to work if it wasn’t for you. You deserve to go out and have fun with Harvey.”
“Are you sure?” asked Rat Boy.
“Yes,” said Mother. “I am sure. We have enough money to survive with and a little extra. Go have fun.”
Rat Boy thanked his mother and then he went to the show with Harvey. He had a lot of fun that night.
Rat Boy continued to babysit his sister while his mother went to work. He grew up knowing that in order to get what he wanted out of life that he would have to work just as hard as his mother.