When Lola got Jealous of the Hamster
When my kids & I were homeless, I would tell stories to help pass the time & to give them something to think about other than our tough situation… Those stories brought us closer together and have become a part of our family’s oral history. “When Lola got Jealous of the Hamster” is a favorite that I hope will one day be told to future generations (smile)….
Lola, our adorable but rambunctious Dalmatian, was our first pet and used to being the Queen of the house. She wore the big,black patch over one eye and ear like a crown. She didn’t have to work hard for attention and had the whole house to herself. Aaaaah the life! That was, until, the hamster was carried through the door in a little white box…a small box that seemed to take up the whole room & push Lola out 😦
The hamster was named Cesar, and he invaded the house like a Roman army. He got his own suite perched high on the mantle, with a view of his new kingdom. He slept all day in a mountain of sawdust, curled up in a ball of black & brown fur, his tiny claws curled into small pink hearts. “Ooooh cute!”,they said,”Isn’t he just precious?”
Lola used to be precious too. Now when she curled up on the couch,in a ball just like the rodent, all she heard was “Get down!”
And the hamster pooped all over his cage, tiny black pellets no one seemed to notice. But when Lola had a small accident & pooped in the house, she was yelled at then put outside on a chain. Lola hated being outside, all alone.
Even worse, that hamster would run in a plastic ball all over the house…kicking up pellets, and was rewarded with treats from the kitchen. Everything Cesar did was sloo cute! Lola tried to be cute but she got in trouble- chewing up the couch cushions & making the living room snow got her sent outside. Digging through the neighbor’s garbage & bringing home the best morsels didn’t even get her a thank you- she was given a bath & all the delicious smells washed away. It just wasn’t fair!
So Lola thought of a way to be just as cute as the hamster… She stuck her long nose into the plastic running ball & tried to squeeze inside. If only she could fit, the Family would surely say she is cute too! Uh oh…Lola’s nose got stuck. She pulled & yanked but could not get free. Lola frantically ran across the house, whining for help but no one came. All that running made her thirsty so she had to get a drink … Cool, refreshing water bubbled from the porcelain fountain in the bathroom. Slurp! Slurp! Slurp! Water sloshes everywhere but still the ball would not come loose.
Trash always made Lola feel better so she thought just a taste would help this miserable situation. Lola tipped over the garbage, knocking the lid off, then lunged..there were leftover wrappers with gooey crumbs and sweet smelling brown slime to explore… Only the ball got in the way. Lola swung her nose to the right,tipping more garbage on the floor. Then she swung her nose to the left, knocking over another pile of garbage. Try as she might, the ball would not come loose. Lola was starting to get worried. She did not like being a hamster a d wanted to be a dog again.
When the Family came home, they were shocked to see such a mess: Lola was floating across puddles of toilet water on a raft of garbage. And her nose was stuck inside the hamster ball, her silly pink tongue licked eagerly but couldn’t reach these forbidden delights.
The Family triedbto pry Lola’s nose free but not one spot slid out. What to do? Power tools! Z z z z went the buzz saw. Z z z z z the buzz saw gained momentum, leaping out of the hand like a small tornado! Z z z z the buzz saw cut through the chair. Z z z z the buzz saw cut through the ceiling (explaining the large crack that is there to this day). Z z z z finally the buzz saw cut through the plastic ball & freed Lola. Woof! Woof! She said with relief.
Cesar was cute… He curled in your hand & ate treats you fed to him. He had the softest fur and winked when he was happy. But Lola was no longer jealous… She was a dog, and never wanted to be a hamster again. She rolled over to get her belly scratched, and thumped her tail in delight…later she would plot to get in the garbage, and find a morsel for Cesar, they would be best friends.
In Our Hearts, 2006.