In Norse mythology, Ratatoskr (drilling tooth, sometimes anglicized Ratatosk) is a red squirrel who runs up and down with messages in the world tree Yggdrasill and spreads gossip. In particular, he ferries insults between the eagle Veðrfölnir at the top of Yggdrasill, and the dragon Níðhöggr beneath its roots.

Modern Appearances

Ratatosk makes a minor appearance in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman comic book, as an accidental "midwife" to Thor in a story told by Loki. He also appears in Gaiman's novel American Gods. Ratatosk appears as a woman running a temp agency for the gods in Esther Friesner's "Temping Fate" and is quoted as saying "I am Ratatosk, the Dark Squirrel of Doom!"

In the Marvel Comics mini-series, Thor: Blood Oath, Thor and the Warriors Three are aided by Ratotosk, who gives them information on how to acquire special apples guarded by the Eagle that resides at the top of Yggdrasill.

In the Christopher Golden novel, Hellboy: The Bones Of Giants, Ratatosk appears as a talking squirrel that provides Hellboy, whose right stone hand is fused with the Hammer of Thor, with critical information several times throughout the novel.

In the Larry Niven novel Rainbow Mars, plans are made to capture Ratatosk, but the "Yggdrasil" space elevator tree causes a water crisis and these plans are abandoned.

Ratatosk also appears in Poul Anderson's Operation Luna. He is never seen, but his tracks are seen and his strength is mentioned.

Paul Muldoon's poem "Hopewell Haiku" features the lines, "The razzle-dazzle / of a pair of Ratatosks / on their Yggdrasill."

In the game currently released only in Japan, Shin Bokura No Taiyou: Gyakushuu no Sabata (which would have translated into Boktai 3: Sabata's Counter attack), there is a major enemy named Ratatosk. This continues the trend in Boktai games where many characters, especially villains, get their names from the Norse mythology.

In the PlayStation game Persona 2: Eternal Punishment, Ratatosk appears as an enemy monster.

In July 2007, Namco-Bandai revealed the production of Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk, a new title for Wii set two years after the events of the original Tales of Symphonia. The story will involve the spirit of the old Kharlan Tree, Ratatosk, and the female lead, Marta, also carries the Ratatosk Core within her.

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