Thursday, 26 July 2007

The universe wants me to have a hamster

Like my friend Muriel, I am not a dog person. I'm not a cat person, or a parrot person either. I hate feeding pets, and I can't stomach dogshit. A bitter irony indeed, then, that my household includes three dogs, two cats, a parrot, and, until recently, when they fell off their perches, two budgies.

Now I'm getting two hamsters. It wasn't my idea: the universe, in all her infinite wisdom, has foisted them on me.

Here's how it happened. My eight-year-old daughter wept buckets this morning when she discovered she'd missed a school field trip, which she's been looking forward to for about five years. I discovered the notice about the trip as I unpacked her backpack this morning, and pointed out to her that even if I had known that the field trip took place yesterday, I wouldn't have let her go, because she's been in bed for four days with a very nasty flu bug.

She was inconsolable and sobbed all the way to school.

'What can I do to make you feel better?' I asked, as we turned in the school gates.

'Buy me a hamster,' she wailed (the little minx).

'NO RODENTS IN THE HOUSE!' I said through clenched teeth. 'I've told you a thousand times [I don't believe I was exaggerating here] that I will NEVER allow you to have a hamster. They smell terrible. They bite. They breed. Sorry, but no.'

A fresh burst of weeping. I walked her to her classroom. Then - and I promise I'm not making this up - her friend walked in behind us carrying a large hamster cage. The friend's mother said, 'Hello everyone! Our hamster's just had six babies! Does anyone want one?'

ARRGGGHH! Kneecapped!

This is the look my daughter gave me:

What could I do but say yes? I stomped out of the classroom, feeling all grumpy about having to fork out for a hamster cage, wheel, food, etc. When I got home, I cleaned out my car boot, which looks like a compost heap. At the bottom of the pile I found a sealed envelope with my daughter's name on it. I opened it, and found a birthday card containing a R100 note. It's been there since May, when I piled all her presents into my boot after her party at the Zoo.

Don't know how I'm going to break the news to the other (male) members of the family. Maybe I can console them with this (click for full size):

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1 comment:

angel said...

mwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaaaa... i'm going to show this to damien!
it makes me think of a fellow blogger's post about hamster-on-a-stick that last much longer than flowers...
sorry the universe is sticking it to you- i don't like hamsters much either!