Now THAT'S the old-school way to pull wire!

It's been a few years since Sharky passed along some tales of IT people recruiting animals to pull network wire through some inconvenient places -- but now one pilot fish may have found the grandaddy of them all.

"An 1884 story in the British journal The Electrician said that in the 1850s, most of the London telegraph wires were underground," says fish.

"The main wires went through big tunnels that also contained gas and sewer pipes, big enough for a man to walk through. But according to a Western Union manager named Morrill Marean, the wires that came off the main line ran through much smaller pipes for as much as two or three miles."

Marean's story continued: One of these lateral wires was hauled out to be repaired. The men doing this work failed to attach to it a leading line, by which the wire could be drawn through again. The means employed to correct the error were very unique.

A large rat, with a fine steel wire, was put in the pipe. Behind there was thrust a ferret. The rat ran from the ferret a short distance and stopped. It was feared that he would show fight and be killed. But he started on again.

He ran through the whole length of the pipe, and brought out the wire in good style, though closely pushed by the ferret.

"So it turns out our forefathers also had wires run wrong," fish says "-- and they fixed it the same way."

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