Awwww Rats


One of the many Banksy Mice located around the interior of Durango High School

Zoe Larsen, Reporter

When strolling down various hallways, students may catch a glimpse of mysterious black figures painted on the walls. With a closer look, these figures take the shape of little rats partaking in various activities.

Ever since they appeared on random walls around the school early this year, the creatures have been a mystery to most students. The rats are tucked away in discreet corners, so they are not easily found.

“I first noticed when I was walking to theater rehearsal and my friend was babbling about rats. I was genuinely concerned about her mental health until suddenly, I noticed the faint distinction of what appeared to be one,” said So. Caroline Sitter.

Once students begin the search for the rats, they cannot stop. The different outfits the creatures are wearing and the various activities they are doing compel students to continue the hunt until they find them all.

“Throughout the school I discovered elaborate and creatively artistic mice relevant to their location. I stared in awe as I saw a saucy chef mouse preparing a salty meal. The originality of the mice brings a unique, eccentric feel to our school, as well as a smile to many faces,” said Sitter.

The creative genius of the rats has caused many students to question their symbolic value. There are many theories about the purpose of the mice, although they  may be far-fetched.

“There are seven mice total,” said Sr. Chloe Bourdon. “They represent the seven deadly sins.”

Students may think what they will about the significance of the rats, but only the creators of the shadowy rodents, Mallory Byrd and Haley Wilhelmsen, know the true meaning of their existence.

“The rats were inspired by a graffiti artist named Banksy. There are two other images in the school based off of his art,” said Sr. Mallory Byrd.

Banksy’s controversial artwork often includes political symbols and satirical critiques of war. His stenciled pieces feature subjects such as policemen, children, apes, and obviously, rats. In order to mimic such detailed images, the two seniors had to dedicate many hours to the task of painting them.

“It took us three hours to paint the rats, including making the stencils for them,” said Sr. Haley Wilhelmsen.

The rats, in all of their glory, are works of art. Their locations will not be revealed in order to encourage high schoolers to go on a rat chase of their own.

But, as a popular rat image of Banksy’s says, “It’s not a race.”