I hate rats. Sorry, as much as I love nature, and the creatures of nature, I still hate rats. While growing up on an Indiana farm during the 1940s, rats were an everyday problem, and I was necessarily part of the family effort to get rid of them.

Rats were everywhere. My dad and his brother built granaries lined with sheet metal, and corn cribs sheathed in wire mesh, and still the rats got in. We kept the ground-up cattle feed in fifty-five-gallon steel barrels, covered with lids so heavy I could hardly lift them, and still the rats got in.

All of the chicken-coops were infested, the barn was infested, the orchards were infested, and our garbage pits were infested. We didn’t have rural garbage collection in those days, so we dug a hole in the ground, roughly a six-foot cube, and threw the stuff that wouldn’t burn into it. The rats cheered, and moved in the next day.

We trapped them, we poisoned them, we shot them, but we couldn’t stop them — until we stopped feeding them.

I wasn’t there to witness the victory, but when I did visit, the rats were gone. My dad and his brother had retired from small-time family farming, and rented out the land, so there was no bulk food storage on the property. The rats decamped.

At this point in the story, the analogy to the District of Criminals must be obvious. Need I say more?