Hermann flicks an ear irritably. The half eaten egg bounces out of the open cage and splashes into Hermann’s water bowl. He backs away in disgust.
Newt pokes his long nose over the edge, twitches it, then bounces down and lands in Hermann’s bowl as well.
Hermann is about to turn away and leave the rat to it, but- more splashes, the water flying out, a few soft, half stifled squeaks.
Hermann sighs, and lollops back to his bowl. Newt is flailing desperately, the water too deep, his small head craned up to breath and squeaking desperately.
Hermann catches his hindquarters between his teeth, has to fight not to bite too hard as Newt continues to struggle, his head going underwater. Hermann backs up and drags him out.
Newt huddles in a sad, wet little bundle between Hermann’s legs. He blinks up at him helplessly, sniffs again hopelessly at the water bowl, and the egg still bobbing in it.
Hermann puts a paw on his tail to keep him from going after it, nudges him gently. He can’t see well enough to be safe outside the cage, and Hermann wishes he’d remember it.
With a final, weary squeak at his lost lunch, Newt sits up and starts to groom his soaked fur. Hermann keeps an eye on him for a few moments, to make sure he isn’t going to take another dive into the water bowl, then pads back to his feeding hamper and digs out a lettuce leaf.
Newt squeaks in thanks as he puts it down beside him, and lies down beside Hermann’s flank as he nibbles at it.
Hermann gives him a lick, consolingly. He isn’t really bothered about the egg in his bowl and Newt didn’t mean it. He simply can’t see very well at all- even by the standards of most rats.
Hermann has seen humans with bad eyesight, and he suddenly remember the lady who had raised him when he’d been a kitten, who had worn little round glass over her eyes to let her see- was even worse than Newt without them.
Hermann looks down at Newt, licks him again, wonders if he could get two tiny little ones for Newt.