Hamster Jokester (Animal Story 9)
November 16, 2016 2:19pm CST
When I got my job as a teacher, I was sent to a town I'd never heard of before. I was lucky to find accommodation with a nice family who helped me to acclimatise. It was a couple with two children, a 13-year-old boy, and a 10-year-old girl. I had a room, a kitchen and a bathroom on the upper floor of their house where the parents and the girl also had their bedrooms. One day a young colleague told me that he would be away for a long weekend. He asked me if I'd stay at home and if so, whether I could look after his two golden hamsters. I wasn't too keen on this. I had never had a hamster (or any other pet) and also didn't like these animals particularly. I don't know how to build a relationship with hamsters like I can do with cats or dogs. Besides, I consider keeping them in tiny cages cruelty to animals. I know that one can't let them roam freely through a house, of course. After all, they're rodents and bite and nibble at everything biteable and nibbleable. Yet my colleague pleaded with me. He didn't know anyone else he could ask. I relented. My landlord's daughter had a hamster in her room and I thought I could ask her to help me if need be. The opportunity came sooner than I expected. In the evening I put the cage in my kitchen in order to be able to get some sleep. The constant whirring of the hamster wheel got on my nerves. The next morning, when I went there to see how they were doing and feed them, I found one of them lying on its back with its paws in the air. Good grief! How was it possible that it had died on me? I hadn't done anything wrong, had I? I panicked. What could I tell my colleague? Then I had an idea. Don't all hamsters look alike more or less? Maybe if I bought a new one, he wouldn't notice. But I didn't know if the two hamsters were male/male // male/female // or female/female. I had forgotten to ask. I didn't see myself carrying a dead hamster to a zoo shop and ask a shop assistant to find out its gender. I told the girl about my plight. She had a look at the scene, took a long knife out of a drawer and poked the hamster gently into its side. It turned round, stood up and continued its hamster life as if nothing had happened. I was dumbstruck, flummoxed and flabbergasted! A miracle! The resurrection of a dead hamster! The girl, however, told me matter-of-factly that hamsters behave like that occasionally when they fight and want the opponent to stop attacking them. Obviously, it works. I was deeply moved and deplored the fact that human beings don't have such an inbuilt instinct. The hamster was safe, I was saved and my colleague happy when he got his hamsters back. --- If you're interested in more animal stories, click on the green box above the title.
26 people like this
• United States
16 Nov 16
Humans really would benefit from using the hamster-way of telling an aggressor that he or she has had enough! So glad a young person came to the rescue. When I was teaching, students had come to my aid on a variety of occasions due to me being clueless.
• South Africa
My daughter wanted a hamster all her life, I told her she could get one when she got over 90% for her examination, she did eventually achieve those marks, but she was 18 and not interested in a hamster anymore. There was no way I was going to have a hamster in my home!