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On Pack-Rat Pilfering

THE pack rat earns its name from its habit of picking up objects, especially its kleptomania for bright and gleaming ones, and building them into its lodge: a bit of broken glass or china, a button, coin, bottle opener, small screwdriver... . A few years ago, a man living near the county line went to his shed to start the tractor but the ignition key wasn't hanging on its nail, and he couldn't find it anywhere about, so he had to write the manufacturer to get another; when he was cleaning an outbuilding the following summer, he found the old key and also some missing tools in a pack-rat den. He said later, I believe if the little devil's legs had been long enough to reach the pedals, he'd have taken the tractor too.

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