Day 188: William the Rat Lover

The facts

There was one picture of a large poisoned rat lying outstretched
and lifeless. Ginger carefully cut this out, pasted it on a large piece of white cardboard, and wrote beneath it: “You might have saved this little life.”
Another showed a rat securely imprisoned in a patent trap. Ginger cut this out, pasted it on cardboard and wrote beneath it: ” He wants to be free like you. Free him.”
Another showed a rat engaged in gnawing his way through a bag of grain in a granary. Ginger cut this out, mounted it, and wrote beneath it:” Let him always be happy and free like this.”

  • Number: 17.4
  • Published: 1935 (1934 in magazine form) – originally titled First Prize—William
  • Book: William the Detective
  • Synopsis: The Outlaws organise a week of activities in honour of rats.


Disgusted by a neighbour’s sickening devotion to birds (“our little feathered friends”), the Outlaws decide to rival her Bird Week by holding a Rat Week.

Meanwhile, the children of the village prepare for an animal-themed fancy dress competition, to be judged by the distinguished Sir Gerald Markham himself. William is unwillingly sent in the character of Dick Whittington.

But, even without quite intending it, he ends up winning the prize for being the Pied Piper of Hamlin…