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Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
by Robert C. O'Brien
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH Chapter 16 Summary
The Maze The rats learn that Dr. Schultz is an expert on brains and that he wants to figure out what the injections do to the rats' gray matter. So he tells George and Julie to watch for signs of learning and greater intelligence. One day, George opens Nicodemus's cage door and appears to let him free. Nicodemus runs like a bat out of you know where, but suddenly he receives a shock and jumps back in surprise. Ahhhh. Nicodemus soon figures out that he is in a maze that is designed to test his intelligence. Even though Nicodemus understands that the scientists are not setting him free, he keeps trying different exits, everyday, because he just can't resist the chance at freedom. In addition to the maze, the scientists also do other activities with the rats, like shape recognition. Sounds fun, huh? (Not.) One rat in the group refuses to give up on escaping. This rat is Justin. He makes an attempt the next morning, but it seems almost as if the scientists were expecting it. Since they're one step ahead of him, Julie just scoops him up and puts him back in the cage. Dr. Schultz remarks on how much smarter the Justin/Nicodemus/Jenner group is than the other lab groups. He also thinks that Justin probably won't try to escape again. Ah, but Dr. Schultz is wrong about that, that's for sure.
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