Letter: Fat brown rat has a taste for melon

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The Independent Online
Sir: I was interested to read Shirley Hanslip's letter ('Smelling a rat when it comes to compost', 11 June) about rats only being partial to meat, pastry, plate scrapings, etc.

Last year I, too, had a compost heap on to which I religiously put only vegetable waste, fruit trimmings, grass cuttings etc. I began to wonder how the heap appeared to rot down so quickly without producing much heat or compost.

The answer came one day when I went to put a bowl of peelings on it and the whole pile moved - there, sitting on top of the pile, happily gorging itself on a discarded melon skin, was a gigantic fat brown rat. Needless to say, I don't have a compost heap any longer.

Yours sincerely,


London, SE21

12 June

(Photograph omitted)