Packrats Replacing Items It Takes With Same Number of Other Items

It’ll sound silly, but, hey, I need my ignorance fought.

Anyway, today I watched the 1967 pilot film for the Ironside series. Robert Ironside is shot at SIX times. A couple of the bullets hit and paralyze him.

As they find evidence around where he was shot, they find SIX acorns at the spot where the shooter fired from. But no shell casings. Ironside immediately hires a bunch of Boy Scouts to scour the terrain for something. What, we’re not told.

One character stumbles upon what they were looking for. A packrat’s nest (packrat is identified here as a hamster or such vermin). And in its nest are, you guessed it, SIX shell casings.

Ironside makes the point that when a packrat takes an item it always leaves an item. Thus, it took the six shiny casings to its nest, but like a good honest vermin, it left six acorns in their place.

Is this true, or just Hollywood BS?

Told you it would sound silly. Now, fellow Dopers, fight my ignorance.


Sir Rhosis

I don’t have an answer for you, but I did want to chime in to say that I remember seeing that episode when it originally aired when I was 8 years old. It’s stuck with me all those years!

^^^Not a problem. I was but 3 when it aired originally, but I well remember the series, which ran until I was 11.

I’ve been on a Barbara Anderson kick lately! :smiley:

Sir Rhosis

There is no real mystery here.

Packrats don’t have hands. They carry things in their -one- mouth. Being packrats, it is highly likely that they will already be carrying some “treasure” back to their nest when they spot a nicer item. They must drop whatever they are carrying to pick up the new “prize”. No actual exchange is intended.

I know that with people packrats, the number of items that you take and sneak out to the trash when they are not looking will soon be replaced with the same (if not a higher!) number of items!!!