The Great Escape Artist

[Hamster Tales Part 8]

In Part 7: Picnic proclaims herself Queen of the Castle and thrills at committing all sorts of heinous crimes against sister Pixie, such as theft and attempted murder.

Picnic suffers from the occasional bout of delusion

Day 11
Saturday, 5 January 2008

The girls have now been separated for three days. I figure that they (read: Queen Picnic) need more time alone to repent their sins.

This morning, I wake up uncharacteristically early (sevenish) to the sounds of hamster wheels spinning. The girls are running on their respective wheels. Nothing new to see, so I mosey to my computer to check my e-mail and perform daily rubbish.

Half an hour has gone. I decide to go back to bed.

So I’m walking to my bed and, like a waking dream, I suddenly see, on the floor, a hamster looking at me cutely.


She bolts to her right and disappears under the bed.

“Fugg,” I say, and give chase.

I kneel beside the bed and look under. I can’t see her. It’s dark and a mess in there. Boxes and junk and dust.

What treasures lie beneath the bed

“Come out, you silly. The dust will make you sick,” I tell her.

She doesn’t answer.

I sigh and get up to find out who’s the little runaway. I see Queen Picnic snuggled under her royal tissue shreds. That means Pixie’s the imp.

I shake a yoghurt fruit drop out of its packet, knowing that it’s a futile endeavour.

Holding the teensy weensy treat in my fingers, I announce to the general direction of the bed, “Come out, little girl. I have your favourite treat.”

No answer. No excited clamouring. No eager beady eyes scuttling up to me for a treat.

Of course not.

I look around the room helplessly and then I see her again. She has magically appeared under my computer table.

This is a cut-and-paste job

I didn’t even see anything run past me. I crawl slowly to her, holding the treat out teasingly. She zips around the table and burrows underneath my pink mushroom bedroom slippers.

(Badger badger badger...) mushroom, mushroom!

I hold out my hand, on which a teensy weensy treat lies.

“Oooh, lookit! Yummy yoghurt fruit drop!” I tell my mushroom slippers.

No response.

Ever so slowly, I lift the slippers. No hamster. I look under my table again. No hamster.

No one ever told me that hamsters could teleport.

I get up and walk around the room.

There she is. She’s gone and teleported herself under the Goonfather’s table.

This is another cut-and-paste job

“Come here, you silly rat.”

She dashes for the bedroom door.

Oooh, they can run, too?

“Nuh-uh. I’m not opening that door for you.”

I want to make a grab for her but I don’t want to hurt her or traumatise her.

Besides being skilled at teleportation, Roborovskis are also really, really fast. You’d need to swoop down speedily and you know how force equals mass times acceleration (or summat; I can’t believe I still remember that) and I fear I might squeeze the life out of her if I were to swoop.

I don’t know what to do, so I play wild goose chase with her while I attempt to talk her into giving herself up.

Pixie looks forward to playing jump-rope

“You don’t want to live outside your cage, little one. There’s no food, no wheel, no yoghurt fruit drops.

“And there’s evil feet stomping around that could stomp on you, and there’s evil icky dust all over. Oooh, yes, evil icky dust and evil icky other things that can make you sick.

“And hungry. And cold. And miserable.

“Oh, look, Picnic is stealing your stuff.”

I can’t seem to convince her. She continues to gleefully escape my every advance.

Eek! There's a mouse in my room, she shrieks

She’s now running about within an open area, making circles. I make a half-hearted attempt to trap her with my arms so I can grab her, but she’s too fast.

She heads for the bed again but I perform a flying leap to block her access, like a hero soceer goalie leaping for the ball.

She changes her mind and runs to her cage.

Aha! I see my chance. She’s run herself into a corner.

She refused to leave the snack basket

I dash towards her and grab a cardboard hamster box to block her escape.

She contemplates the mysteries of life as she lounges in her favourite spot

She’s now trapped and she zips back and forth within her prison till I’m giddy. Slowly but surely, I move things around to reduce the size of the trapped area.

Finally. The area is now so small that she has hardly anywhere else to go. I lower a hamster ball (containing a yoghurt fruit drop as bait) and wait for her to climb into it.

She clambers on. Not necessarily for the treat; most probably because she has nowhere else to walk.

I scoop her up and gently lower the ball into her cage. She sits in the ball petrified for a moment. She refuses to walk out, as if I’m going to make her go to the dentist.

“Go on,” I say encouragingly.

My voice breaks the spell that’s keeping her rooted and she scrambles out of the ball. Then she starts scooting around the cage like a rabid monkey. She’s acting like I’m Godzilla and she’s running screaming hiding running screaming hiding like how it happens in the movies.

She's locked herself out yet again

“I’m not going to eat you up. You’re my pet. I feed you.”

She doesn’t believe me and continues running screaming hiding.

I leave her to her cinematic delusions and examine her cage to discover how she escaped.

Up her clay house and through one of the gigantic air-ventilation holes that the Goonfather had drilled into the lid, is how.

Who drilled holes in the checkerboard??

I had asked him to make little holes. Cute little drilly holes. But noooooo, he had to make beeeeg holes because he had bought a new drill bit that made beeeg holes.

I can’t reverse the hole, so I move her little clay house to a corner of the cage, far away from the holes in the lid. The other furniture are slippery and unclimbable, so there’s no way she can escape now.

Unless she teleports.

I put a milk cookie in the cage, to send across the message that her cage is a wonderful place to live in where one can find surprises and treats ever so often, so one shouldn’t want to escape such a wonderful place.

She finds the treat and eats it happily, her morning adventure all but forgotten.

She couldn't figure out where she left her cookie

If she weren’t so cute and lovable, I’d make me some hamster stew.