When Xbalanque and Hunahpu hide themselves to figure out what's destroying their garden, the rat is the only guilty animal they're able to catch. The twins burn the rat's tail (which is why rats' tails are bald) and squeeze him by the neck (giving rats their bug-eyed appearance), but the rat goes on to help Hunahpu and Xbalanque retrieve their father's ball-playing equipment. As payment, the boys tell the rat that stored or scattered dry goods will be his food.
The rat Character Timeline in Popol Vuh
The timeline below shows where the character The rat appears in Popol Vuh. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.