Sunday, April 20, 2008
Eight is Enough
We're watching Peanut clean the nest when Mighty Mouse asks for the umpteenth time, "Can't we keep them?"
"No, sweet pea, we can't."
The latest count is eight--eight hamster pups who, in about four weeks time, will be capable of making still more hamster pups. The current litter is still mostly pink, but beginning to sport a fine white fuzz of fur. They're getting so big that Peanut can barely contain them under her belly. Any day now their eyes will open and they'll begin to roam. To date we've had only one parent commit to adopting a hamster. With seven homes left to find, I can't help but feel nervous.
Later, as we're walking to school, Mouse asks,"But what if they don't want to leave their mommy?"
I explain that, in the wild, Syrian hamsters like Peanut and her babies don't live together. "They'd end up fighting, sweetie."
She nods but looks sad. After a minute she stops and says, "I want to decide who gets them."
I think for a minute as we start walking again. What criteria does a five-year-old use to determine if a family is hamster-worthy?
"Alright, you can help decide who gets them. Emma the Brave, too."
"Yeah!" She lets go of my hand and skips ahead to tell her sister.