Trifecta Writing Challenge #67: Rat Race


RAT RACE… A Nursery Rhyme in 33 words

Life becomes struggle,
To juggle these days.
How did it happen,
I’ve entered a maze.

They say pills have helped,
Ones that they gave.
I’m really not sure,
If I will be saved.


Trifecta: Week Sixty-Seven

JUGGLE (transitive verb)  Always the third definition… 3: to handle or deal with usually several things (as obligations) at one time so as to satisfy often competing requirements


I wanted to write something in 33 words, since I missed the recent Trifextra.  I decided to try a poem.  After I wrote it, I didn’t know what form it was, so I consulted the Noted Scandinavian Poet,  Björn Rudberg (who nosed out ‘you know who’, to claim first post this time).  He said it reminded him of a nursery rhyme format, and that was good enough for me… I liked it.  Björn also gave me a few other tips.  If you liked it… Thank you.  If you didn’t… Blame Björn.

Plague Rat Illustration by Emily Veinglory

43 responses

  1. Oh! Perfectly expressed and in rhyme no less! I think I’ll read it once more. It’s fun to read and says it all.

    1. Wow… another poet. High praise, Linda.

  2. This is really good!

  3. Fun! I liked it. Not so sure about the illustration, though…

    1. Oh, interesting… why? Too depressing, or not fitting the story. Maybe I should have used your maze photo… that might be a good one. But I was thinking this character was at the end of his rope.

      1. Just my personal aversion to rats, I think.

      2. Oh, okay. I don’t like ’em either.

  4. I did like it so no one to blame. I know Bjorn’s work. I’ve been following him on Twitter for some time, and he is indeed a ‘noted’ poet. And this is right up there with all of the good nursery rhymes.

    1. Hah… thanks, Steph. Who else better to ask, right?

  5. I liked this. Very soothing meter which works well with the frenetic message.

    1. That’s a nice way to put it and to hear.

  6. There’s a disparity between how this reads and what it’s saying. That’s my favorite part!

  7. Awesome nursery rhyme! I love that you call it that, too.

  8. Nice job Ted!

  9. Thank you 😉 noted poet. And now you are that too. Great entry

  10. It does feel like a nursery rhyme. Would that there were a pill for all the struggles of modern life!

  11. Once upon a time – we all learned to rhyme
    A rat race, a rat race, we juggle to save face!
    Rhyme and Race, Time and Place
    Juggle anew to win the race.


  12. In 33 words, that was a race, Ted – a rat race to the end 🙂

    1. Thank you, Eric. That was a nice post you did on the 33er’s today.

    2. Yes, scares for sure. Fun to read that bunch.

  13. you did a spectacular job on the poem

    1. Well, thank you so much dear reader.

  14. Nursery rhymes with pills. Sounds good to me! I liked it. No blame. 🙂

  15. First, “Blame Bjorn…” is hilarious! As for the poem, I really liked it. I’m going to mess up my poetry terms, but the light, fun rhythm is chilling in the context of the subject matter. It gives the image of a person putting on a front while everything beneath the veneer falls apart. Very nicely done.

  16. That was real cute. I liked that. What is the trifecta? Another writing challenge. I started a new one with Weaving Dreams, a Creative Writing Prompt blog and did the first three. But, am still working and posting longer fiction stories and the one I have been working on the historical fiction one. Sure takes a lot of time, doesn’t it to keep up with all of these, so I couldn’t do them all so had to take a break from Friday Fictioneers. A lot of writing and reading, etc. sometimes and can’t get as much done with all of it.

    1. It really does take some time to read and comment. Thanks for reading and commenting on mine. Trifecta has two prompts per week. The weekend one is all of 33 words… exactly…. So, does not take long to read them, and maybe write one. A few crossovers from FriFic. Just as talented bunch. A different type of challenge here to flex your writing muscles, Joyce.

      1. Click on the Trifecta link.

      2. sounds good Ted. Will check them out some more. I like to try some different prompts and challenges to inspire and flex my writing muscles at times.:)

  17. I like “no blame”.. great job Ted!

  18. kymminbarcelona | Reply

    lol What a perfect little ditty!

  19. Of course they will. Better living through pharmaceuticals I always say.

  20. Cobbie's World | Reply

    Nursary rhymes are rarely just for kids, are they? As several have stated already, I love the combination of serious message and the childhoodesque format. Thanks for the nice treat, Ted!

  21. The picture was amazing. All I can really do is echo what has already been said and way that those first 4 lines are amazing.

  22. Great nursery rhyme – you and Björn make a good team. Now were they the little blue pills or the yellow ones? Red maybe? 🙂

    1. I think white are the worst…

  23. Great piece of writing-I love rhymes:-)Loved the pic of that rat-he definitely looks caught in a maze with no idea how to get out,lol!

  24. Nice! I had to read over and over. It kinda started a little song in my head. And certainly the message isn’t any more spooky than, say, Ring Around the Rosie…

  25. Funny, with how much technology is claimed to make our lives easier, I think more of us are ‘stressed out’ and medicated for anxiety than in the ‘good old days’. Something to think about 🙂

  26. I saw that! 😛 lol Great little poem. (:

  27. When I first started to do poetry, I was told that I should not rhyme and write more ‘prose’. I still get a kick of making words link and rhyme. I finally have come to the decision..stuff ’em. I shall write as I want. Re what you wrote..yes pills these days seem to be the answer for everything… everyone has some ‘diagnosis’ to be cured that did not exist back ‘in my day’….so are pills really the answer or have we simply lost our own way? I have followed.

  28. Well done, Dad!

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