Sunday, September 21, 2008

Escape Artist

S'more just escaped.

Good grief.

That creature is made of lightning. Lightning coated with grease.

One minute, she's sitting on Kelly's bed, cradled in Kelly's arms, getting a little Good Night snack before we turn out the lights, the next nanosecond, she's leaping off Kelly's arm, and out into the void. A triple half-gainer with a back flip, and she's somewhere on the floor, blending in with the carpet, and she's GONE.

*shakes fist at the hamster-coloured carpeting*

And of course, the lights are low, and Kelly immediately BURSTS into uncontrollable sobbing tears, and I'm distracted, so I don't see where S'more goes after she does a belly flop onto the carpeting.

All the commotion brings Ken into the room, where he has the presence of mind to close the door, and put a towel-baffle down across the gap at the door's base. But he's in Review Writing Purgatory, and has 15 peer review to write before midnight, so he REALLY doesn't have the bandwidth to be dealing with this.

Ack. So much for my New Week's Resolution to get the kids in bed with lights out by 8:15.

So my first thought was that I'd seen her go under Kelly's dresser. And hamsters, they are the Champlains of the rodent world. If there is a nook to be explored, they are all over it.

Cue the emptying of all Kelly's drawers. Oh man, what a mess. And her bed had been so neatly made, too. By this point, Kelly's sobbing had been reduced to the occasional blubbering, which she managed to keep in check when I'd say "Shh, let's listen to hear if we can find out where S'more is"

And then we had an idea. S'more and Midnight are "in love", says Kelly. More likely, Midnight is a horn dog, and can't wait until he can have his way with the little filly. But he's got a definite attraction towards S'more, and so Kelly suggests we put him in his Hamster Ball, and set him loose to hunt her down, much like a Bloodhound after an escaped convict.

So Midnight is corralled, and put into his ball, and off he goes across the vast expanse of newly-cleared floorspace. Now, whether or not he's actually following a scent is anyone's guess, but he tracks back and forth across the floor like some Olympic sprinter. (This gives me great hope that he'll bring home the gold in October 4th's Petco Invitational Hamster Ball Derby!, which Kelly registered him for this afternoon, btw)

The only bad thing is that Midnight does not understand the concept of Quiet Running. So any hope that I had of setting him loose, and then listening to S'more give away her position with a little scurrying, or a little nibbling of some hidden seed treasure is shot to bits.

And then, after a HALF HOUR of this, where things are beginning to look bleak, very bleak indeed, suddenly S'more darts out from some crevice in the closet, darts across my toes, and then sits there, beside my foot, looking up at me as if to say "Well, I'm done with this freedom business. Put me back in my cage, please."

This, of course, set Kelly back into tears. (me too, nearly.)

And I reach down, and cradle the little escape artist, and I wonder how it is that I'm so very relieved to be petting and nuzzling this little walnut-sized creature, when only two hours earlier, I was picking up a nearly-identical sized mouse carcass from the garage, and dispatching it to the trash can with hardly a backwards glance. They're both rodents. They have identical beady little black eyes. Yet one of them is a nuisance, and the other makes my daughter's heart sing.

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