Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

by Robert C. O'Brien
Reviewed date: 2016 Dec 12
233 pages
cover art

Ah, the classic children's story of super-intelligent laboratory rats who escape, steal from Farmer Fitzgibbon, and enlist desperate mice to do the most dangerous work of drugging the cat to sleep. Oh, and they help Mrs. Frisby move her cinderblock home into the lee of the stone, to spare it from Mr. Fitzgibbon's tractor. In her turn, Mrs. Frisby warns the rats that the researchers from NIMH are coming with poison gas to flush out the rats, and they escape just in time.

It's an interesting story. I find the rats much less agreeable than I did when I read the book as a child. The rats owe Mrs. Frisby a debt--her husband Jonathan saved the rats during their escape, and lost his life while drugging the cat for them--but they never bothered to check on her. She had come begging, hat figuratively in hand, after being referred to them by an old wise owl.

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