Charlotte's Web

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A Neighbour Apologises



In an unprecedented move, a Burg neighbour has apologised to expat Frau Otter for stating baldly in public that her children are bringing rats to the suburb. Frau Otter says she is still recovering from the shock.

“I was amazed,” she says. “I have been accused of many things by my neighbours. But this is the first time, someone has apologised to me. It’s just a pity that her apology, unlike her accusation, wasn’t public.”

Frau Otter says that she had been in the crowded local bakery one Sunday morning, when the neighbour, who we will call Frau A to preserve her anonymity turned to her and said, “‘A rat ran over my husband’s foot yesterday. I spoke to Frau G, who denies that the rat has anything to do with the three compost heaps in her garden. She said maybe your children have been picknicking in the corner near our garden, and that’s why the rats are there. It’s pretty disgusting.'”

“I was so stunned I couldn’t say anything at first. Then I told that my children very seldom eat in the garden, especially as it has been winter, but if they do, they have a chocolate or an ice-cream which they eat up. They never leave food remains in the garden.”

Frau Otter reports that on recently meeting Frau A again outside the bakery, her neighbour apologised to her.

“She said, ‘I didn’t mean to insult you, I just wanted to warn you about the rats. I don’t want one of the children to be bitten.'”

Frau Otter says that having been accused of having stinky bins and offensive barbeque smoke by neighbours, it was appalling to have her children accused of bringing rats to the Burg.

“I feel vindicated now,” she says. “Clearly not all my neighbours are insane lunatics.”

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

12 thoughts on “A Neighbour Apologises

  1. Justice for Frau Otter at last! I hope nosy ol’ Frau A learned her lesson…

  2. … but a sizeable proportion of them seem to be!! Good grief – I don’t know if I could have kept my cool. Better still, I might have gone to purchase a few rats and let them loose in her general direction. Glad there was an apology, albeit in private…

  3. I’ve heard lots of German neighbor stories, but this one is really something. The children bring rats…Wow! And the apology? Even more amazing!

  4. My money is on the compost heaps as the cause of the rats. Aii- small town judgmental neighbours with too little in their lives… They are bad the world over but German ones sound especially petty.

  5. I’ve read about a man that lived in nearby Hamelin. He did things with rats and kids …. any relation to Frau A?

  6. I like how Frau A. pinned the whole thing on Frau G. Like, “I’m just passing the insult on!”
    And that your children might have been having illicit winter picnics and leaving morsels out to feed the starving vermin. But I am glad that she clarified that she was merely thinking of the children. How nice of her.

  7. Oh my goodness, I might just have burst out laughing in her face, out of pure shock. I was going to mention the old Pied Piper too. Maybe you could ask him to lead her away, next time he’s passing through?

  8. Oh, this was funny! I’m glad you got some satisfaction out of this, finally.

  9. It’s not a place you’d really want to be reincarnated as a rodent, is it?

  10. In an even greater unprecedented move, Frau Otter, unlike a reported 99.7% of other women, when polled as to what they might do in such a situation, managed to keep her cool and did not end up in prison on grounds of assault.

  11. It’s a month of firsts. My mother apologized to me this week. I think it was the first time in forty-one years. Yep, I don’t remember it ever happening before.

    Tonight, I will raise my wine glass and toast to us. To Frau Otter and Alida for a first that will be well remembered!

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