In 1944, rats were ravaging farms, gnawing into sill beams, eating poultry and eggs and consuming livestock feed. Rats were estimated to destroy $45 worth of food a year, at a time when chicken and livestock feed were hard to come by.
Little Robert De Glopper was made of sturdier stock than children these days, and consequently made himself quite a profit at 3 cents per dead rat. Ten rats an hour would match the minimum wage of 30 cents.
Can you imagine if today’s town clerks had to count rat tails?
War bond prizes were given to the boy or girl who 1) killed the most rats, 2)the heaviest rats, or 3) the ones with the longest tails. Such fun before TV and video games existed! Even dogs and cats were cited for meritorious work.