People say that when you’re in a very large city like London, New York or Paris, you’re never more than ten metres from a rat. Now, because of an American animated film called Ratatouille, people are going to be even closer! The film is so popular with French children and teenagers that rats are now the most fashionable pet in France! The film tells the funny story of a rat who wants to be a professional chef, but has lots of problems because of ‘rattism’!
Nadya, a student from Paris, bought a rat after she saw the film. ‘Before Ratatouille, many people thought they were horrible animals, but now people see rats in a different way – as fun and intelligent’ she said. According to Nadya, there are other reasons why rats make good pets. ‘They’re much more interesting than hamsters, and much cleverer than mice – they can recognise their names, so they come when you call them! You can really play with a rat.’
There are approximately five million pet rats in France, and this number is increasing. There are another sixty million wild rats living in the sewers and in the underground in Paris. Pet rats are also quite popular with famous people, for example, Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films has one.
If you want a rat as a pet there are some things to remember. They’re nocturnal, so that means they’re asleep when you’re at school and awake when you’re asleep. They also need lots of attention and exercise, but they’re cheap to feed as they don’t eat much. However, you should be careful, because like all animals with teeth- they can bite!
GLOSSARY: rattism – ‘racismo’ contra las ratas [palabra inventada], according to – según, sewers – alcantarillas, underground – metro, however – sin embargo, like -como
1. Read the text and answer the questions.
a) What animal is the text about?
b) In which country are they very popular as pets?
2. Read the text again. Write true or false for each sentence.
a) In places where a lot of people live, a rat is probably ten metres away.
b) Ratatouille is a film with human actors.
c) Hamsters are more boring than rats.
d) Ron Weasley has a pet rat.
e) Rats can respond when you say their names.
f) There are about 65 million rats in France.
3. Vocabulary. Find words from the text to add to the lists.
Adjectives: ____________, _____________, _____________, _____________, _____________, _____________, _____________, _____________,
People: _____________, _____________, _____________, _____________,