Year of the Earth Rat
Though the Western rat is reviled as little more than a bottom-dwelling disease carrier, this animal is viewed much differently in the East. The Eastern rat is revered for its quick wits and its ability to accrue and hold on to items of value; rats are considered a symbol of good luck and wealth in both China and Japan. Clever and quick-witted, the Rat of the Chinese Zodiac is utterly disarming to boot. Possessed of excellent taste, this Sign flaunts its style at every turn. Its natural charm and sharp, funny demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone. The Rat likes to know who is on its side and will treat its most loyal friends with an extra measure of protection and generosity.
Behind that sweet smile, though, Rats are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas. This Sign is motivated by its own interests, which often include money; greed can become a problem if the Rat isn't careful to keep its priorities straight. This Sign's natural powers of charm and persuasion can definitely come in handy! Although they are often hoarders, Rats can be very generous to those in their pack, namely friends and family members who have proven their loyalty. Others might perceive them as quick-tempered and sharp-tongued, but never boorish. Verbal jousting is a great pleasure for the Rat, a Sign that everyone around will quickly learn either to love or to hate.
Rats enjoy being on the outside looking in, as the outside affords a view into the inner workings of a system or situation. The Rat's keen mind always seeks out new knowledge, to be stored away for future use. This ever-curious Sign also welcomes challenges as a way to stay sharp. If boredom sets in the Rat is no fun at all, but that isn't likely; this Sign knows how to keep itself entertained.
A valuable lesson for Rats is to learn to consider others above themselves, at least sometimes. If they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats could find true happiness.
quoted from http://chinese.astrology.com