Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spring break, a wayward hamster and a broomstick

                                               Zach & Emma standing in the kitchen on Easter Sunday.

Last week I posted a blog about Goldilocks the guinea pig, a class mascot of my daughter Tara's 4th grade class that came home to spend her last days with us over summer break many years ago...
This is a good place to pick up the story, while creating a new chapter, as to why our family should not have summer vacation or spring break animals visit us...ever.
We do great with our day to day family pets, I think it's just migrating, visiting animals that don't fare well, although, I am not sure of the logic of that, either.
Anyway, picking up our current theme, let me rewind for you... Zach brought home Lily the classroom's traveling hampster mascot for this Spring break. Lily has made several attempts of escape while visiting the homes of students who attend her classroom. This spring break was no different. Obviously, Lily has an established modus operandi of vanishing, usually when the children have her out of her home and are attempting to engage her in activities of which she has no interest... like playing. 
She was doing just fine until Friday. Dave had left to join Sammy in Salmon fishing at Bodega Bay which left Erin, Zach and Emma to entertain Lily. Apparently, Lily soon became bored and disappeared from her hampster mansion. The door remained closed, no visible  signs of forced entry. No hamster body parts were to be found-- a good sign, as Kristopherson, their orange tabby, was the initial suspect, even though he to our knowledge prefers a non-hampster diet, it was questionable.
Phoenix, the lab, who barks from the deck whenever a squirrel is on the move, didn't utter one puppy sound to alert the fam that all was not well at the hampster mansion.
Throughout the Easter weekend, my daughter Aims would get updates from Erin and pass them on to me. We would think strategy and offer ideas as to where Lily could possibly be hiding, all to no avail... Lily was out of sight and lying low.
Easter Sunday, Jeff and I drove over to watch Emma & Zach hunt for easter eggs. At lunch we inquired about Lily. still no sign of her. Emma was getting worried as she had to go back to school and would have to tell the teacher that Lilly was missing. Erin was beside herself, how could this happen? she asked. How do you bring a hampster home and it disappears? Although, we did hear something during the night, but couldn't figure out where it was coming from, she added.
Erin knowing the hampster was somewhere, but not knowing where exactly, had been up searching for Lily late into the night. Just knowing that the hampster was out was just wigging-her out a bit. Sounds, making her itch, setting her on edge. Which all played into the hands of Emma and Zach perfectly who have inherited their father's wicked sense of humor. They would call out to her during the day and then throw a life-like sized spider at her, which would send Erin screaming out of the room while Zach and Emma collapsed into heaps of laughter. They look like nice children, but really... not so much, sometimes. Poor Erin somehow managed to survive, unlike the plastic spider, who was relegated to the kitchen trash and was off onto another adventure...
Aims called last night with the latest Lilly sighting. It seems that Erin and Emma were in the kitchen when they heard sounds coming from beneath the kitchen cabinet under the sink. They both went to inspect, and there was Lilly, oblivious to all of the commotion she had created. Emma picked her up, somehow, Erin hadn't seen her do this and then all of a sudden the hampster was in her face, scaring Erin, which made her scream, which made Emma scream and then Emma's flight reaction took place, she flung Lily out of her hand instinctively... they watched horrified as Lily went sailing through the air and landed with a thud on the kitchen linoleum, on her back with her four feet up in the air. Erin and Emma went screaming out the sliding back glass patio door. Erin yelling out to Dave that Lily was dead and lying on the kitchen floor.
Dave had been in another room and came running out, thinking something had happened to Zach. Erin repeated that Lily was dead and lying on the kitchen floor. Except... there was nothing on the kitchen floor. Erin said, but she was lying there. Emma said, no, she was moving when I picked her up, she wasn't dead.
The search for Lily began anew. I think it was then that they realized that Lily, in all of the excitement had scurried under the kitchen stove... there was no way to reach her, except by with a kitchen broom handle.
All of the hubub had piqued Zach's interest, especially, now with Lily so close. David tried and tried and then with one last push... the broom handle hit Zach's hand, which flung the cookie he held out of it and it went rolling onto the kitchen floor... with Lily in hot pursuit, of food like substance, she was caught at last, and placed securely back into her hampster mansion, ready to return to school on the assigned day she was due back.
Erin turned to Emma and said, You see why we can't have animals on Spring break?
Emma who had endured more adventure than even she had wished for over the holiday, sagely nodded and simply replied, Yes.

                                                                 for Lily:
                                                                        I get around, Beach Boys.


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