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In one of the rooms of Dragon Roost Cavern, the King of Red Lions tells you that if you drop some bait by a rat's hole, it may share some of it's loot with you or something like that. The thing is, those dang rodents are more of a nuisance than they are worth. I WOULD RATHER KILL THEM, INSTEAD OF FEED THEM! I am currently on the second quest of my save file. I went into the submarine by Bomb Island to retrieve the second bottle. I lost a good third of the rupees I had to them blasted rats by the time I had defeated all the enemies, including the rats themselves.
Ever had roasted Space Pirate? It tastes just like chicken! :D
Well, feeding them does cause the ones in that area to cease their attacks until you leave. So it does offer more benefits than just being able to restock on certain items.
If there aren't any mouse holes in the area, though, one little trick I've taken to using is to grab the nearest pot/barrel/whatever and smash it on the ground nearby. More often than not, the rats will actually prioritize picking up the items that spill out over attacking Link and stealing his Rupees. Same applies to monster drops - if it's not something you need and there are rats around, it's better to leave it and let them carry it off. It's a clever little diversion, and it really comes in handy in certain areas.