“There were two sets of encyclopedias that had sections on rats. From them we learned that we were about the most hated animals on earth, except maybe snakes and germs.
That seemed strange to us, and unjust. Especially when we learned that some of our close cousins—squirrels, for instance, and rabbits—were well liked. But people think we spread diseases, and I suppose possibly we do, though never intentionally, and surely we never spread as many diseases as people themselves do.”