Friday, 8 June 2012

Never, ever give up on your rat's tail

Never ever give up on your rat's tail, pen and ink ©jb
Recently, on a trashy current affairs program, a boy who looked about 7 years old was telling a reporter that he was not allowed to go back to school until he cut his rat's tail off. He looked up at the reporter with such a serious expression and said, 'My Granddad told me to never, ever give up on my rat's tail'.

Now this boy was so earnest and he seemed so passionate about his rights that I couldn't help but feel for him. I mean, that rat's tail was long. Halfway down his back. That kind of hair style takes commitment. The school clearly did not appreciate his determined spirit, but he should be admired. This kid had guts, because thin long plaits are not a popular choice amongst most 7 years old boys.

I imagined him plaiting it and redoing it to get it just right. I imagined him choosing the little plastic band very carefully and winding it tightly at the tip, snug, secure and complete. That rat's tail radiated pride to me and the story clearly reeked of injustice. In a world where everyone is trying to be so stylish, this boy's story told me that we should all have a little bit more commitment to the very things that we love but which may seem a little bit daggy.

So I say, have pride in your favourite pair of purple jeans that give you a muffin top if you just love them and feel good in them. For those who love to wear slippers outside, go for it! And if anyone ever has a go at you, just tell them with your chest puffed up with pride, 'I'll never, ever give up on my purple jeans/slipper wearing/rat's tail.'

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