Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The story of Whistle- my miraculous Argentine hamster
(This is pretty much what she looked like, except she had shorter fur because I would cut it sometimes.)
I decided today to tell you of my beloved hamster Whistle. I got Whistle and her husband, Fellow, when I was in the fifth grade. We had just moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina. I loved living in Argentina. It still seems like a magical place to me. Here are a few things that happened to me in Argentina:
1.I was told by the cutest boy in the class that I was cool and had "cool shoes."
2.A parrot got blown into our yard by a storm and we got to keep him.
3.We had a tree in our backyard that we were told not to play under because it periodically dropped fruits that were huge and could kill us if they hit us. This made it really scary when a ball rolled underneath the tree. Periodically we would wake up in the morning and there would be these deadly watermelon-sized fruits lying under the tree.
4. I found a jeweled dagger in a hidden cubby in our rented house.
5. I got a telescope for Christmas or my birthday and spent a lot of time spying on people, and it freaked me out.
6. We saw and sat on live miniature horses.
7. They sold hot dogs there the length of my arm.
So, like I said, Argentina was a magical place. We were only there a year. When we found out we were moving back to Virginia, my parents told me we had to get rid of the hamsters. We were able to give Fellow away easily, but it was harder for Whistle.
I thought Whistle was getting more and more pregnant, but it turns out that hamsters do not carry their babies only on their left sides. Poor Whistle had a very large, strange growth on her side. Nobody wanted to take her, even for free. Even with the cage for free. My parents conferred and it was decided that Dad would "take care of her."
So one evening I said goodbye and my Dad drove off with Whistle. This would be the end of the story, but remember that Argentina is a magical place.
About a week later, my parents and I were packing stuff in the garage when something small and blond scurried up to me. It was Whistle--lump and all! My mother looked at my dad who was plainly astonished. He said he couldn't bear to kill Whistle so he had just driven far away and let her go into a field.
Let's take a moment and think of the resilience of this fine animal. Whistle had never set foot anywhere in the house other than my room. How in the world did a hamster know how to get to my home? What sort of homing device did she have? And how did she, a domesticated blond target, manage to scurry past all predators and past all the cars on the Buenos Aires streets to come back? Also, I think it quite commendable that she not only found the house but found me, ignoring other family members. I could hardly sleep that night, thinking of the wonderful and brilliant hamster that had returned to me.
The next day, my dad "took care" of Whistle, and this time she didn't come back. So that's a lousy ending but still. What a cool hamster, no?