The other night, Wendy Chairez stepped out to grab a bite with a few friends in Guadalajara, Mexico, when something caught her eye — and cried out to her heart.
There, on a wet and rainy roadway, was a rat. She’d gotten stuck in the metal grating of a storm drain and was struggling to get out.
“I saw how she tried to push herself with her legs to be able to get out of the drain. But she couldn’t,” Chairez told The Dodo. “She had these little eyes that screamed for help.”
Chairez readily admits to being “terrified” of rats, but in that moment of distress, she saw the rodent for who she really is — an animal with feelings who simply wanted to live and be.
“She gave such tenderness and sadness,” Chairez said. “So I told my friends that we should help her.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
After trying and failing to free the rat with a broomstick she’d found, Chairez put the last remnants of her fear aside and used her hands to gently pull the rat out.
Here’s that moment on video:
The rat appeared to have given up hope that anyone would stop to help her. But she was wrong. Chairez had saved her life.
“The little mouse was very weak, but she grabbed onto the broom handle and I carried her to the sidewalk,” Chairez said.
After that, the rat ran away to find shelter from the rain. The fact that she was now safe was all the thanks that Chairez needed — even if her feelings about rats in general still remain somewhat tepid.
“I respect them. In general, I love God’s creation,” she said. “I’m not going to go around the world telling people to save rats, but to love creation — and life — is to serve others. That’s the meaning of life.”