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The Rat Balancer

Evan came from a long line of angel balancers, but he only wanted to balance rats.

“I have no interest in balancing angels on pins,” he said, “nor cherubs on tuning forks, nor toasters on seraphim. I wish to balance rats on poniards—not the points, for that would be unkind, but on the pommels.”

His family disowned him, except for an elderly great-aunt. She had him over for holidays. He made his own friends and found that there was money in rat-balancing at parties and corporate events, and in the end he was very happy.


Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.


The trick is developing callouses on your fingers.

Oddly enough, no it's not. I knew a knife juggler [not entirely the same thing, but he could balance a knife by it's point, so close enough.] You need the skin to be flexible enough that the [dullish] knife point causes a dimple in the pad of your fingertip, and thus doesn't slip or fall as easily.

Apparently, soaking your hands in cold water a few minutes before performing also helps, makes your fingers go all soft and shrivelly you see.

...he's holding...is that a takeaway coffee cup?

It's thirsty work, rat-balancing.

Wouldn't work with my rat, little crack addict.

And being very happy is, as everyone knows, the best of all possible lives. :)

SO adorable!

Happiness is the highest form of wisdom? =)

I love how his hair suggests feathers. (And is his rat hairless?)

The confused and slightly worried look the rat is giving him is awesome.

"Seriously, dude, what the hell are we doing?"

I was going to say that rats are probably cheaper to feed and house than angels, anyway, but then it occurred to me that I don't actually know whether angels eat. Perhaps they derive all their nourishment from basking in the divine presence.

I like the great-aunt, too. She sounds like a kind and broad-minded person.

They eat angel food cake, duh! ;3

I think balancing rats must be an even tougher job. They're skittery little critters!

Edited at 2013-11-25 12:20 am (UTC)

I'm reminded of your Glass Mountain story. I had a run in with my own glass mountain today. It was very pointy and cut like a bitch, but then I saw this and was both comforted and inspired. It's doing what you're good at and enjoying it that's most important.

Thank you! When will this print be available? I want to hang it on my cubicle wall.

Rats can be angels too, a very narrow minded family!

Well, there's a Death of Rats out there, so yeah, why not angel-rats too?

Gawd I love your brain. Can I live in your head please?

Has he ever done an interview for the Hidden Almanac? He ought to.

I want a coat from his tailor.