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Zodiac believers say rats can predict the future

Date Posted: 2008-01-11

This is the Year of the Rat, as outlined in the 12 signs of the Chinese and Japanese zodiac.

To those who follow the zodiac, the rat is thought to have special powers, powers to predict the future. Throughout Asia and the Buddhist world, animals have always been thought to have special powers, and observers keep watch on what the animal behaviors are.

The dragonfly, for example, has power to predict typhoons. When dragonflies move away from a location, itís an indicator a typhoon is approaching.

This year, the rat is in the spotlight, and seafarers are particularly mindful of the ratís behavior. Stories abound about rats warning seamen and saving lives. One popular tale describes seamen shopping, then going back to the ship and seeing the rats scurrying down the mooring lines, away from the vessel. The captain quickly sized it up and warned the crew to be careful for fire or other dangers. As it turned out, there was a fire on the ship, but crew members were prepared and nobody died.

Among fishermen, this custom is alive today. When rats go away from the ships, crews are reluctant to set sail, insisting on staying in port.

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