Nfld. & Labrador

This 'king rat' is long gone, but its legend lives on

Paul Druken says he's been sharing a photo his friend took of an unbelievably big rat encountered a couple years ago for a while, upon request, but decided it was time to bring his picture of the king rat to the masses.

Paul Druken says this rat was the size of a small dog

This picture of a very large rat found a couple years ago at the Robin Hood Bay landfill in St. John's has been generating quite a buzz on Facebook lately. (Submitted by Paul Druken)

Perhaps it's happened to you, going down the street at night — rain pounding — when a dark, long-tailed rodent darts out in front of you. 

"Wait, was that too big to be a rat?" you might think as you get away as fast as you can so as not to catch a second glimpse.

Well, Paul Druken has what he hopes is the king of all rat stories, connected to a picture of the dead rodent he recently posted on his Shea Heights page on Facebook. 

"We called it the mutant rat, because it's fairly large and it's quite the topic of conversation," he said.

Like, "the size of a small beagle" big according to Druken. 

Druken said he was out on the road a couple of years ago when he ran into a friend who had just finished a day's work cleaning up at the St. John's dump. 

"They were moving around some cardboard, as far as I was told at the time, and out it came. Rats are ferocious and tenacious, so it attacked him, so he kinda had to defend himself and he gave it a kick, and he figured it'd bugger off but it didn't," said Druken. 

Through three or four approaches, Druken's friend kept kicking the rat away from him. 

"And last going off he actually had to use a shovel to take care of it."

'I think we've got the king rat'

The friend took a picture of the dead rat and shared it with Druken that day. Whenever rats come up in conversation, Druken pulls it out.

He said lately people have been talking a lot about the so-called "murder hornets" arriving in North America, which made him think of the Robin Hood Bay "murder rat."

"This is not a fake picture, this is real, this is actually the size that it got!" 

Druken said rat chats usually generate some jokes, and the comments on his recent Facebook post are no different. 

Master Splinter from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon is a well-known rat. (Tenor)

"I absolutely love the reaction. One of my favourite posts is, 'They killed Master Splinter from the Ninja Turtles.' I must have laughed 20 minutes at it," he said.

People are also sharing their own pictures of rats.

"But I think we've got the king, I think we've got the king rat," laughed Druken. 

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