• by Will Coleman

    Rath the Rat is running out of time to complete his collection with the last straw
  • This is Rath.
    Rath ov vy!” says Rath, “I’m Rat!”
    Rath likes things to be just right.
    Today Rath’s cousin is coming to visit from Truro.
    He will be arriving at seven o’clock this evening.
    Hwegh eur yw hi lemmyn,” says Rath, “it’s now six o’clock,
    Ytho yma unn our dhymm. So, I’ve got one hour.”
    Rath begins his final check to make sure that everything is in perfect order.
    Rath is the owner of twenty drinking straws, which he has arranged beautifully around his nest under Kay Koth. Rath knows that his city cousin will be very impressed.
    He counts them proudly,
    Onan, dew, tri, peswar, pymp, hwegh, seyth, eth, naw, deg, unnek, dewdhek, tredhek, peswardhek, pymthek, hwetek, seytek, etek, nownsek ,…”
    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen …”
    But, the last straw is not where it should be!
    The special red-striped straw with the bendy bit is missing!
    Ple’ma an galen arbennek? Where is the special straw?” shrieks Rath.

    Page 1 / 6
  • Rath runs up and down Kay Koth searching for his special straw.
    After half an hour of looking Rath realises that time is slipping by.
    Py eur yw hi? Py eur yw hi?Rath mutters, “What time is it? What time is it?”
    He can see the time by Lester’s clock.
    Hanter wosa hwegh yw hi,” says Rath, “It’s now half-past six, yma hanter our dhymm! I’ve got half an hour!”
    Ple’ma an galen arbennek?Rath shrieks at Lester “Where is the special straw?”
    But Pyskador just shouts,
    Agh! Rath! Urgh! A rat!” and tries to clobber Rath with a boat hook.

    Page 2 / 6
  • Rath remembers the skip outside the Medhegva Dens where earlier today he
    found some interesting insulating material.
    But after fifteen minutes of frantic searching in the skip Rath still has no special
    straw and realises that time is slipping by.
    Py eur yw hi? Py eur yw hi?Rath mutters, “What time is it? What time is it?”
    He can see the time by the clock in the dentist’s surgery.
    Kwarter dhe seyth yw hi,” says Rath, “It’s now a quarter to seven, yma kwarter our dhymm! I’ve got quarter of an hour!”

    Just then Goolan swoops in and Rath shrieks,
    Ple’ma an galen arbennek? Where is the special straw?”
    But Goolan just smugly squawks,
    Gwag ov vy! I’m hungry!” and Rath runs off as fast as he can.

    Page 3 / 6
  • Rath scampers all the way to the Gwerthji Nick-Nack to see if there’s a replacement straw to be had.
    But after ten minutes of franticly searching the shop Rath still has no special straw and realises that time is slipping by.
    Py eur yw hi? Py eur yw hi?Rath mutters, “What time is it? What time is it?”
    He can see the time by the watch on Dyskadores’ wrist.
    Pymp mynysen dhe seyth yw hi,” says Rath, “It’s now five minutes to seven, yma pymp mynysen dhymm! I’ve got five minutes!”
    Ple’ma an galen arbennek?Rath shrieks at Dyskadores, “Where is the special straw?”
    But Dyskadores just shouts,
    Agh! Rath! Urgh! A rat!” and runs away.

    Page 4 / 6
  • Rath makes his way slowly and sadly down to the beach.
    His cousin will be arriving any minute now. Rath feels that his nest under Kay Koth will not be good enough for the critical eyes of his city cousin.
    Suddenly, just outside his nest, Rath spots an amazing pile of interesting objects with his missing straw waving out of the top.
    Ottomma an galen arbennek! Here is the special straw!” he shouts just as his cousin arrives.
    Seyth eur poran yw hi lemmyn!” calls Rath’s cousin “It’s seven o’clock exactly
    now. Hag ottavy! And here I am!”
    Together the two cousins count the impressive array of straws
    “Onan, dew, tri, peswar, pymp, hwegh, seyth, eth, naw, deg, unnekdewdhek, tredhek, peswardhek, pymthek, hwetek, seytek, etek, nownsekUGENS!”
    “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen TWENTY!”
    Ugens kalen! says Rath’s cousin “Twenty straws! Marthys da! Very impressive!”
    Meanwhile, outside, a crab is scuttling back to the sea.
    “Hemm yw gwell; nyns eus genev vy tra vyth,” says Kanker, “That’s better; now I have got nothing!”

    Page 5 / 6
  • Want to learn more?

    There’s a whole bunch of related learning to be unpacked from this story.

    Take a look at our Porth learning resources.

    Read next book

    Buy this book

    Page 6 / 6
Close this book

primary_shiftnav