PARIS – Both the rat and Nadine Mahe des Portes panicked when she inadvertently stepped on the rodent on her walk back from work through Paris.
"I heard a terrible squeak," the property agent recalled with a shudder. "I thought I'd stepped on a child's toy or something."
When citizens are literally tripping over rats on the sidewalk, it is clear that the City of Light has a problem. Professional exterminators with decades in the job struggle to recall infestations as impressive — perhaps that should be repulsive — as those now forcing the closure of Paris parks, where squirmy clumps of rats brazenly feed in broad daylight, looking like they own the place.