His first night in hiding as a rat, Peter slips into a bakery through a crack in the wall. He scrabbles up the counter and into the basket of bread on display, where he seizes a roll in his teeth and flees before the faint scent of cat can grow any stronger. Back out in the alley, he tears into his prize.
The bread is at least two days stale, but that is not the reason it tastes like ash in Peter’s mouth. For the first time, even after all that has transpired, he realizes there is no turning back.