Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Day I Ended A Hamster's Life

The afternoon started off innocently enough. It was a hot summer afternoon (I actually have no recollection of the time of the year this occurred, but I wanted to provide a setting for the story). It was prior to my first year of kindergarten and I was being held at the local youth penitentiary, also known as preschool. These are some of my first memories, so they are a little vague. However, I will never forget the day my actions led to a hamster being sentenced to death.

I believe this occurred during nap time at the preschool. This when I usually got into the most amount of trouble, because I've always been a restless individual and never was interested in taking naps. Even during the first grade (yes, we still had nap time at my school in the first grade), I was lectured by my teacher because I would use that time to eat my soggy sandwich discretely. I'm not sure why I would hold off on eating my lunch until lunch had actually ended and we were "napping," but that's the kind of strange kid I was during that time.

Back to the topic at hand. As the other children were positioning themselves on the floor to nap, I was plotting a maneuver to taunt the class hamster in its cage. As I noticed children begin to nod off, I checked to see where the teacher was positioned. She was paying no attention to the actions of her students. This was my signal to begin mercilessly flaunting my outstretched finger at the hamster through its cage. As I wagged my finger at the innocent hamster through the cage, I could see its beady eyes tracing my every movement. Eventually it had enough of my taunts, and before I could react it made its retaliatory move. In one swift hamster motion it attacked my finger in an attempt to remove it from my body. I shrieked as it clenched its powerful jaw around my tiny little finger.

This attracted the attention of the teacher. She looked over to see that the hamster had maliciously attacked me. Instantly concern spread across her face. She picked me up and immediately took me to the front of the building. From there, they proceeded to take me to the hospital to be examined. I'm not even certain that blood was drawn by this monster, but I imagine there had to be something there for them to panic to such an extent. As I was hurriedly driven to the hospital the preschool phoned my mother at work. They informed her that I was bitten by an animal and being taken to the hospital where she could meet me. They conveniently left out an important detail that this animal was in fact a freaking hamster!

My mother rushed to the hospital where she was able to find me being examined by the doctor. She quickly noticed that they were placing a tiny bandage over my finger. Her expression turned to relief upon realizing that I had not lost a limb to some carnivorous beast. After they had placed some kind of concoction that reminded me of honey over the wound, they determined I would be just fine. The hamster, however, did not meet a similar fate.

It was learned upon my return to the preschool that the hamster had been received a capital punishment for its crime. Apparently the school was concerned that the animal may have rabies and would begin to attack all of the other students. Multiple observations about this line of thinking strike me as funny. For starters, if it is locked in a cage, how is this hamster going to unleash its fury upon the class? Secondly, how does a domesticated hamster that is constantly locked in a cage contract rabies? Needless to say, I learned that day that my actions did in fact have consequences. An innocent life was lost that day, because I was irresponsible. I vowed never to allow this to happen again.

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