Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
Goes from Buddy to Third Wheel
you've never had a hamster for a pet, you just don't know what you
are missing. I thought I had graduated from befriending rodents
when my children grew up and left home. At last, I thought, no
Wrong! I forgot about grandchildren. On a trip to the pet store,
my grandson discovered the hamster cage. I don't know what it is
about hamsters that appeals so much to kids. They look like mice
without tails to me. But something about their beady little eyes
and their playful antics appeals to kids.
After several trips that involved prying my grandson off the
hamster cage and dragging him out of the store, I finally relented
in a moment of grandmotherly weakness and agreed that he really
needed a hamster and that it could live at my house.
He was ecstatic, of course, and named the hamster Buddy. One of
the reasons he picked Buddy out from the other hamsters was that
he was so active. However, when Buddy moved to his new digs, he
had a drastic change of personality.
Buddy spent most of his time trying to crack out of his cage and
became very adept at it, which resulted in several horrible
episodes of nights spent in the furnace vent. Finally, we learned
to keep paper clips on the cage door and that put an end to his
Buddy then turned his attention to homebuilding. He moved nearly
every bit of the litter in his cage into his exercise ball, which
became his new bachelor pad. If we emptied the ball, he simply
spent the next night moving back in. Finally, we gave up.
We decided that what he needed was an exercise wheel to keep him
occupied since his exercise ball was now his penthouse. We made a
special trip to the pet store to purchase a hamster wheel for the
cage and waited for him to discover it. We waited, waited, and
waited some more.
Buddy ignored the wheel entirely. His favorite pastimes were
eating and sleeping. Except for the times when my grandson took
him out of the cage to play, he was totally inactive. He soon grew
fat and lazy. I thought all hamsters liked wheels. Who ever heard
of a hamster being a couch potato?
Then one night I heard a noise that I thought it was rain -- but
next morning I found that it had not rained. The following night,
I again heard a strange noise and wondered if there was something
wrong with the furnace. I got up to investigate and found the
strange noise was Buddy gleefully running his wheel - at last!
Hamsters are nocturnal animals, which means they are most active
at night. "Active" hardly describes Buddy anymore. He
runs his wheel all night like a long-distance trucker. Night after
night he runs for hundreds of miles, the wheel rolling and
squeaking every inch of the way.
My grandson sleeps through it all and the noise doesn't bother him
a bit. In fact, he wants us to wake him up so he can watch Buddy
truckin'. My grandson and Buddy have bonded, and his Buddy is
really his "good buddy" now.
Buddy has trimmed down and lost some of the excess weight since he
went on the road. Night after night, Buddy wheels into oblivion.
If he was running his wheel in a straight line instead of round
and round, he would probably have made several cross-country runs
to the West Coast by now.
I can't help thinking that I should have left well enough alone.
Maybe a hamster that is a couch potato is not such a bad thing
after all. Next thing you know he will want a CB radio.
Copyright 2007 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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