I mentioned the following to a close friend, so I'm posting it again.
My brothers, friends, and I were explorers. We weren't afraid of venturing anywhere, which including miles of the surrounding area and the undergrounds drains that ran under the streets. If we wanted to see it, we'd spend some time in doing just that; even if we had to say we were up to something else. After all, we didn't want our parents to worry.
Two blocks over from our house was a railroad track. Usually, only switch engines would pull cars up and down the track, but there was a passenger train twice each day and a long freight train at least once each day. When there was no train, we would explore up and down the tracks, under the bridges and along the right of way; if we weren't waiting for a train to flatten a penny or nail we brought from the house.
One afternoon, while exploring under a railroad bridge, my brother spied a critter in a hole under the abutment. After close examination, he realized it was hamster, which was not only an unusual critter to find, it was at least a half mile from any house.
My brother took a stick and stuck in the hole. The hamster responded by doing everything it could to turn the end of the stick into sawdust. Instantly, my brother decided he wanted the hamster as a pet, so we went home, he rigged a live trap and we returned with a mission.
It took over an hour of patient waiting, but the hamster finally made the mistake of going into the trap. My brother had a new pet and it showed appreciation by trying to gnaw the end off my my brother's finger. He was quicker than the hamster, but not by much
We didn't have one of those cute hamster cages, with all the tunnels and running wheel. All we had was a high sided wood box, which my brother secured with a piece of hardware cloth and a brick. We spent the rest of the afternoon admiring my brother's new pet, which ignored the lettuce we managed to remove from the crisper when my mother went to the restroom. Before the evening was over, my brother stashed his pet, and box, in the garage closet, while he decided how he would announce his pet to my parents.
Early the next morning, my brother and I went outside to check on the hamster, which he hadn't even named. Opening the door, my brother peeked into the box and found a hole gnawed in the side. The hamster was gone, which disappointed my brother, but it prolonged the announcement he'd eventually have to make - if we found the hamster.
We spent most of the day looking for the hamster, but it was all in vain. It was gone and there was no sign of it anywhere. We chalked it up as "one of those things" and went about our business...for a few days.
My mother was speaking to my father a few days later and told of how something was in the garden destroying her plants. Since weeding and upkeep was part of our responsibilities, we went to investigate the garden. We found a fairly large hole, which indicated something burrowed into the ground and was eating the roots of the plants. While my parents were confused, we had a pretty good idea what that "something"was. It was time to solve our problem.
My brother tried placing his live trap by the hole, which was a wasted effort. The hamster had no intentions of making that mistake again. It was living the high life in its comfortable hole, eating three good meals each day and lacking a care in the world.
My brother decided the only thing left to do was to flood the hamster from the hole. Placing the garden hose nozzle into the hole, he turned the water on full and waited. While we were waiting, I thought I saw something out of the corner of my eye towards the other end of the garden. Before I could focus on the movement, there was nothing to see, but there was a rustling in the high grass in the neighbor's yard. Within a few minutes, water started bubbling from a hole about ten feet away. The hamster had an exit, and I was thinking he'd made an escape.
We eventually filled the hole completely, which pretty well indicated we'd either drowned the hamster, or at least ruined it's home and it would leave. I'll never know. We never saw another sign of the hamster and we'd avoided having to explain the entire mess to our parents.
A few years ago, I told the story to my mother. She just shook her head and smiled. I felt better after keeping the secret all those years. She probably was thinking she didn't want to know about many of the things we did when we were young.
In Case You've Wondered
My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.
If you're here for the stories, I started another blog: scratchingforchange.blogspot.com
One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.
I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Hamster From Hell (Re-post)
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I think that most parents wouldn't want to know all the things their kids did when they were young. I know I sure don't.ReplyDelete
There's another untold story of a white rat; and my brother's unrewarded effort to keep it in the garage.Delete
I enjoyed this one. Looking forward to reading about the white rat.ReplyDelete
Your close friend
Blog Post Review - By DaBlade of Chattering Teeth:ReplyDelete
A hamster living in the wild under a railroad bridge. I keep seeing that tiger on a life boat.
I was reminded of the book/movie, The Life of Pi while reading your story. I couldn't help but wonder if the hamster actually represented a homeless person living under a bridge whom you and your brother brought home and hid in the family garage, only for said bum to run roughshod thru mom's garden while hilarity ensued.
Like Pi's story, the reader is left to ponder at the end whether Jess's story is an allegory of another set of parallel events or vice versa. Well done sir!