Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
How we cite our quotes:
"I felt a sharp pain in my hip; then it was over. What they were injecting and why, I did not know. Yet for twenty of us those injections were to change our whole lives." (15.55)
The pain in Nicodemus's hip only lasts for a brief second, but the pain (and the potential benefits) of his transformation will last far, far longer. At this point in the story, it must have been particularly scary for the rats, because they don't even know what the injections are for. And it's not like they can read the label… yet.
"First, we were learning more than any rats ever had before, and we were becoming more intelligent than any rats had ever been." (17.4)
It's almost like these rats are explorers, or astronauts, or pioneers. At the same time that this must be exciting for the rats, it must also be bewildering.
"We could not detect either of these things ourselves. That is, we didn't feel any different, and since we had no contact with the other groups, we had no basis for comparison." (17.8)
Have you ever wondered if you were changing but not been sure? That's how the rats feel at this point. Because they have been separated from their "normal" peers, they have no point of reference. They don't know what normal is anymore.