This section of the book is from the "Stories of Animal Sagacity" book, by William Henry Giles Kingston.
Rats, in their ferocity, partake of the character of the wolf, and in their cunning, of that of the fox.
A great flood occurred some years ago in the north of England; and as a number of people were collected on the banks of the Tyne, whose waters had risen to an unusual height, a swan was seen swimming across the flood. On its back was a black spot, visible among its white plumage. As the swan came nearer, this was found to be a live rat. No sooner had the swan, after bravely breasting the foaming torrent, reached the shore, than the rat leaped off and scampered away. Probably it had been carried into the water, and, unable to swim to land, on seeing the swan had sought refuge on its back, thus escaping a watery grave.
As the swan did, help those incapable of helping themselves, though you dislike their appearance and character. They may not have had the advantages you possess.