Hero Rodents for Father’s Day

I think I’m going to buy my dad a giant African pouched rat for Father’s Day.

No, no, don’t get me wrong. I love my father and he’s the greatest guy in the world.

A hero rat, specially trained to detect land mines and TB.

But dad’s not the type of guy who wants things. He’s 90 years old and has no patience for bad neckties, little golf statues or fancy desk pens. Which leaves it hard to come up with a good idea for a Father’s Day gift.

In comes Thomas Friedman, of all people, to the rescue. The New York Times columnist had some Father’s Day gift ideas in his column a couple days ago.

He wrote about an organization, www.globalgiving.com, which sells, among other things, the chance to take care of these rats. For the low, low price of $36, you can feed one of them for a year. For $100, you can create an African pouched rat’s nest, where they will breed and make new African pouched rats.

Why on earth would I give my dad such a gift? Well, these rats are smart and they’re trained to go into mine fields to find the land mines. The rats are too light to set the mines off, so they don’t get hurt. But they tell people where the mines are, so they can be defused so that no humans get hurt.

These rats can even find tuberculosis. Patients provide a sputum sample, which are given to the rats. The rats can tell whether the patient has TB, so treatment can start fast. This method is faster and cheaper, especially in developing countries, at detectiing TB.

So these super rats are really cool.

By the way, if rats aren’t your idea of a cool father’s day gift, globalgiving.com has a lot of other ideas you can try.

Happy Father’s Day to dads everywhere. And I hope our African pouched rats live long and prosper

One Response to “Hero Rodents for Father’s Day”

  1. denis Says:

    those are amazing rats! lady di would have loved them!

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