The Bronze Rat
A tourist wandered into a back-alley antique shop in San Francisco's Chinatown. Picking through the objects on display he discovered a detailed, life-sized bronze sculpture of a rat. The sculpture is so interesting and unique that he picks it up and asked the shop owner what it costs.
"Twelve dollars for the rat, sir," said the shop owner, "and a thousand dollars more for the story behind it."
"You can keep the story, old man," he replied, "but I'll take the rat."
The transaction complete, the tourist left the store with the bronze rat under his arm. As he crossed the street in front of the store, two live rats emerge from a sewer drain and fall into step behind him. Nervously looking over his shoulder, he began to walk faster, but every time he passed another sewer drain, more rats came out and followed him. By the time he walked two blocks, at least a hundred rats were at his heels, and people began to point and shout. He walked even faster, and soon broke into a run as multitudes of rats swarmed from sewers, basements, vacant lots, and abandoned cars. Rats by the thousands were at his heels, and as he saw the waterfront at the bottom of the hill, he panicked and started to run full tilt. No matter how fast he ran, the rats kept up, squealing hideously, now not just thousands but millions, so that by the time he came rushing up to the water's edge a trail of rats twelve city blocks long was behind him. Making a mighty leap, he jumped up onto a lamp standard, grasping it with one arm while he hurled the bronze rat into San Francisco Bay with the other, as far as he could heave it. Pulling his legs up and clinging to the light post, he watched in amazement as the seething tide of rats surged over the breakwater into the sea, where they all drowned.
Shaken and mumbling, he made his way back to the antique shop.
"Ah, so you've come back for the rest of the story," said the owner.
"No," answered the tourist, "I was just wondering if you have a bronze lawyer."