Five days before Christmas...
Santa brought a pair of hamsters for the girls so as to save them the long, cold flight from the North Pole. Rodents don't fly well. Guy and I went to a Petsmart to pick the puff balls up. While at the store the cute-spunky-and-all-knowing rodent expert helped us select two tufts of fur and an extra habitat. We had one on the way from the North Pole via US Air, but in case they didn't get along, we bought a portable and easy-to-assemble back up plan, then headed to Amanda's where she graciously agreed to watch over them for the week.
OK, this story is taking way to long. Let's move it.
I get a call from Amanda. The hamsters have been in a fight. They have been separated, but one is bleeding. Lucky for me the second habitat has just arrived in the mail. I rush over.
The injured hamster didn't look great. There was a cut above and below his little beady eye. I follow the maddeningly simple, yet somehow impossible instructions to put together the cage-thingy. There is a crash in the other room, followed by the barking of little Frodo, the family mascot. The meany hamster had managed to walk it's temporary jail-box right off the counter.
No harm done, but I think Frodo was plenty freaked out, walking boxes and all.
Amanda calls again. She sounds downright dreary.
"Uh-oh, did it die?"
"Worse. One is missing."
Somehow the hamster escaped. Perhaps it was her sleepwalking son, no one was quite sure, but the cage was still closed, but empty as a cookie jar at my house. An hour of looking had produced no furry fugitive.
Two hours later, another call, the voice on the other end, dejected.
"Well, we found it."
The fur ball was hiding behind some plaques that were leaning against a wall when Frodo found him. Frodo nudged into the corner, knocking the boards over, which scooped up the clandestine critter and flung him out into the room (did I mention that they don't fly well? Well, in this case they do), where Frodo snatched him up.
Everyone screamed, and Frodo dropped his piliferous prize, but not unscathed.
He was bleeding.
We waited a few hours.
The bleeding was just a small scratch on his nose.
He was fine.
Well, as fine as a hamster that has been in a fight,
fallen off of the equivalent of a four story building,
and then was nearly puppy chow.
On Christmas morning, the kids came out into the living room to see what Santa left for them. Amidst the squeals of delight, Tessa's voice reached my ears.
"Santa brought me a candy cane in my stocking!"
"Look some more, Sweetie. What else?"
"My own bag of beef jerky!"
"Look Sweetie, a hamster..."
Oh, well. Best laid plans of mice and moms.
I blame Santa and his darned planning ahead to avoid a last minute trip
to the pet store only to find they were plum out of hamsters.
He had to know that beef jerky would upstage a rat.
And gum. I mean, really?
Should'a just let Frodo have him.
He never stood a chance against gum.