Mrs. Frisby’s friends escape (for real)

Do you remember the story of “Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH”? It was a 1971 Newbery-award winning novel that told the story of some lab rats that escaped from their captors and made a new life for themselves elsewhere.

To good to be true? Maybe not. Read this ABC News article about some lab mice who recently went “missing” from the Public Health Research Institute in New Jersey. Of course, remedy these mice weren’t like Mr. Ages and Nicodemus from the novel. Their real-life counterparts were actually part of a study on the bubonic plague. In farct, the missing mice were all infected with the bubonic plague, but scientists tell us that the health risk is low because the plague “is not contagious.” (Yeah, tell that to the residents of England a couple hundred years ago…)

What _really_ happened at the Public Health Research Institute? Maybe it is time for Jane Leslie Conly (daughter of the late Robert C. O’Brien, author of the Newberry-winning book) to write another sequel, so we can find out.

(Nod to FreeMoby where I first read this story.)

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