Check out what a rat living in George Washington's bedroom collected and kept in its nest. The Mount Vernon Instagram page—which describes itself as the "Official account of the Virginia estate of America's first president, George Washington," and which shares information about "what life was like in the 1700s"—posted an image of the nest's treasures, and explained:
In 1949, preservation staff removed a rat's nest from behind a wall in the Washingtons' bedchamber. The rat had collected historic materials from different eras, including a woman's shoe, a paper spool with wool thread, rope, yarn, binding tape, two buttons, and scraps of cloth. Perhaps most notable was a small scrap of white cotton dimity, the fabric used in the Washingtons' bed curtains.
Rats' nests are fascinating—in 2019 David Pescovitz here at Boing Boing wrote a post about how they are "rich with unrecorded history and urgent scientific data." It's definitely cool to see George Washington's rat's collection. It's also funny to think about how Martha Washington might have responded to losing one of her shoes to the rat. As Instagram commenter Hazel B. wrote, "Can you imagine how long someone looked for that shoe?? 'I know that shoe is here somewhere!'"