I think I was born not far from here, in this shitty world where you stacked us. Our parents quickly trained us to get by the only way they knew: “Manage by yourself”. Since we were a very hungry lot. I am one of those who survives finding life in the rubble, behind each blade of grass, scarce and full of weeds. Crawling, sniffing, guarding myself against your attacks, just because you see me different, just because you see me as a rat.
We beset death or she besets us until our outcry becomes mute. One, two… four hundred dead’s, two thousand injured. One day, another day, a whistle and its trail in the sky, like the crack of a whip, ripping the air before tearing our bodies apart and melting them in the stench that I am still breathing. Although we are used to it since we are born, the instinct makes me run away from the only environment from where I can breathe, from where I cannot flee. You never wanted to share the land and you keep tightening the noose. You want to exterminate us just because you see us as rats.
Our offspring don’t know anything better. Each generation takes a step back. The noose keeps tightening. We defend ourselves the best we can, the way you allow us. We fall back, we dig the earth before your arrival, we slip in tunnels, absents from it all. Our eyes have adapted, we have developed the sense of smell extraordinarily and detect your hostile presence. And we react. Blandly. Rats cannot do anything against you.
You have dealt with us. So much that you even deny us from our identity. I doubt now who I am. You press us against the sea, like lemmings. Am I a lemming? You are mistaken if you think we will jump to the sea. Lemmings don’t suicide – it’s a myth – and, moreover, I am not a lemming, since, like you say, I am a rat.
And as a rat you want me dead.
*Convenience translation of this text 'Hola, soy una rata'
by my brother, Ángel Cuesta