I have a little brother. Well, I say he's little, but he'll be 30 next year. Imagine! Me with a 30 year old little brother. I know ... I don't look old enough.
But anyway ...
He and his lady friend live in domestic harmony in Loughborough, with their small furry housemate, Charlie the Hamster. Charlie is a lady hamster. When they first got her, they didn't know if she was a she or if she was a he, so they gave her an androgynous name. Having established that she was a girl hamster (or, at least, not endowed as a boy hamster should be) they determined that Charlie was short for Baroness Charleston P. Hamster The First. Naturally.
They make a happy trio, Brother, Lady and Charlie. It's a living arrangement that works well for all parties. That is, it did until ...
... three weeks ago, when disaster struck! Brother Tooting trotted downstairs from his morning ablutions to find an empty cage! Charlie-mouse the Hamster had escaped! Her door was ajar, her cotton wool bed was empty, her night-time choccie drops untouched. She was vanished without trace. No note. No clues. No hamster. Just an empty cage.
They turned the place upside down, looking under things, behind things, around things, inside things, and on top of things that could be tempting to a hamster, but to no avail.
Brother was anxious. He suspected that he might have been the one who had left the cage door open, and that Charlie's escape might therefore he his fault. He was also aware that there had been a bag of recycling waiting to go out just before escape was noticed. Perhaps she had seen a big bag of bedding and rooted in, only to be put out for the bin men in the morning.
On an estate frequented by foxes and populated by cats, no-one liked Charlie-mouse's chances if she'd got out of the house, and no-one really thought that she was still in the house. No-one voiced their feelings, but everyone thought that Charlie had gone to hamster heaven. After a couple of days of food trails not being followed back to the tantalisingly open cage door, the assumption was that she'd gone never to return. Poor, poor Charlie.
Two days ago, there was a knock at the door. Brother opened it to find his neighbour on the door step. "Have you lost a guinea pig?" "Erm. A hamster. We've lost a hamster." "Yeah, that's right. It's in our kitchen."
The neighbours had come down that morning to find a "guinea pig" sitting in their cat's food bowl, chomping away. When they approached, the "guinea pig" had scarpered behind the fridge, so they didn't get a good look. Presumably leading them to think that it was several times larger and guinea pig shaped. Slightly sceptically, Brother put Charlie's cage in the neighbour's kitchen that night, door open and homey looking, and would you believe it, but Charlie came home!
Three weeks! Where has she been? Did she get carried away in the bin bag, and slowly wend her way home, only to take a wrong turn and go into the wrong house? Had she been next door all along, nibbling on tasty cat food? Could she have been to visit a hammy cousin in the country, and missed the train home?
All we know is that she went away, and now she's home ...
... until the next time ...
late season camping
2 weeks ago