Barney is a 1951 short story written by American humorist Will Stanton. It follows an unnamed character, who seemingly is a scientist conducting experiments on the rat that shares the same name as the story.
The story starts in media res. The scientist shortly reveals the whereabouts, "We are alone on the island now, Barney and I. It was something of a jolt to have to sack Tayloe after all these years" (p. 1, ll. 2-3).
Here we apprehend it takes place on a desolate island with only him and Barney because he had fired his colleague, Tayloe. Although it is on an island with a meagre amount of staff, the place may not be small, "I have given him complete run of the place (...)