Look, kids, just read the damn poem. It is what it is, Freddy the Rat fights a Tarantula, who has been terrorising the creatures of the newsroom. He seeks to stop the tyranny, and he is not afraid of the spider's venom as he has already eaten poisoned cheese. With his last act he saves his friends.
Is it an allegory of the underworld of New York in the 1920s? Maybe. The only person who could say for sure is the writer, and he died in 1937, so there's no point in asking him.
So. Poems? The one thing we can be sure of in a poem, is that our perception of it will not exactly mirror that of its writer. That's the whole story of art. It asks questions, leaves possibilities, and every time we read it, there's a slightly different story.
"Oh yeah!", you say "Well that's not what my teacher says, so who do you think you are to disagree?" Me? I'm a human, and thus as well qualified to have an opinion on Freddy the Rat as anyone else. And that's my advice to you. Read the poem, form an opinion. Stop asking others what it's about, ask yourself.
If you want to learn more, read about the writer, Don Marquis. read about the America he lived in, learn about the world outside his windows, learn about the people who read his column, and of course, read all the other stories he wrote.
The story of Freddy was not written in a vacuum, it was one of a whole series, written by Archie the cockroach, who was a re-incarnated free-verse poet, living in the bottom of Don Marquis' typewriter, and writing his poems and stories by jumping from key to key, in the night when no humans were around.
Of course, he could use no capital letters because he couldn't jump on the shift key simultaneously. Oh. Yes, sorry, I forgot that many of you have little or no idea what a typewriter is, let alone have used one.
A steampunk manually powered keyboard, all levers and fulcrums, no screen! stamping out letters on paper at a speed even the slowest crummiest printer would find laughable.
You can see one in a museum, I guess. Here's the poem. Oh. By the way, typewriters only had one font, until the nineteen seventies, when the IBM selectric came along.
The poem's displayed here in a type-like font