Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Tough rats

Monday, March 5, 2002 noon

Editors, The New York Times

The March 5, 2002 New York Times' article 'Waiting for the A Train, the Sophisticated Pigeon' starts out by listing some "...strange subway stories — some pure urban legend, some alarmingly real...," specifically those about animals.

One item: "...rats tough enough to survive the third rail."

Any rats surviving contact with the third rail do it because of agility, not toughness. They may jump there somehow, but they will only survive by anotherlucky jump. If any part of them (such as their tail) touches any suitable ground, such as a traction rail, while also in contact with the third rail, they will be tough only to some creature trying to consume their remains (if any.)

Arnold H. Nelson 5056 North Marine Drive Chicago IL

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