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A Christmas Song

Just as there are some days or moments that you will remember forever, there are Christmases that will be relived each year even if only for three minutes and six seconds.

Shortly before Christmas I became friends with the new girl who moved in across the street named Darcy. She was a cool, confident, and athletic girl. She fit in well with the boys and girls. We always imagined that she had come from some place much cooler since she always had whatever the it thing was before it even became it. Darcy was cool and for her birthday she got a bunch of friendship bracelets and a hamster. I was nearing the age where I could actually be allowed to have a pet so I commenced begging for Santa to bring me a hamster. They are small and a lot easier to take care of than a pony... And I would take care of it.... and I wanted it so badly.

On Christmas morning I opened my presents to the sounds of Christmas music playing on the radio and was quite happy with the Stompers, Matchbox racers and other toys I had gotten. I was a little sad Santa didn’t think I was old enough to have a hamster, but I wasn’t too surprised. It seemed like a far fetched dream anyway. But then my dad told me I had missed one of my presents and I should check in another room and there was a Habitrail cage running on his little wheel. I named him roadrunner but when I found out he was actually a girl I changed the name to Runnet!

I was so excited to have a pet of my own, I instantly wanted to show my ability to take care of my new found responsibility so I topped off the hamsters already full water and opened a box of food to feed my new friend. Runnet didn’t go after the food right away, she was content to run on her wheel, so I took her out to hold her and play with her for a little while. When I put her back in she decided to check out her food... And to my horror some of her food was moving! I screamed for my mom, who upon seeing and recognizing the movement screamed much louder for my father, “JERRRRRRYYY!” there were a few maggots climbing on the edge of the food dish, we couldn’t figure out how they had gotten to the food so quickly. My dad grabbed the dish, dumped the contents somewhere and returned the dish to me to refill.

As I went back to the box of food I had opened I stopped in my tracks and just stared for a moment. When finally I thought to call my voice must have echoed the amazement I felt “Daaad.” As my dad wandered up behind me he let out some choice words. I just continued to stare at the cardboard box of food, and the hundred or so maggots crawling out the perforated hole and down the side of a box like a white waterfall. I was entranced, my dad picked up the box, and rushed over to the fireplace and threw the box onto a blazing log. The maggots continued to climb out the hole. Every now and then one would sizzle and make a disturbing sound. My brother and I sat by the fire as a new song came on the radio, it didn’t’ take long for my brother and I to get into the spirit of Christmas. Just a few changes to the words of the classic song and we were living a Christmas song. “Maggots roasting on an open fire, hampsters nipping at your toes!”

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
caliburnpdx
Dec. 26th, 2005 05:27 am (UTC)
Childhood Pets
I had many pets as a child and teenager. Many. Mice, hamsters, snakes, fish, lizards of all kinds, parakeets, cats, turtles, canaries, you name it. They are all long ago passed away, but when I think back on them I still have minor guilt pangs: did I take good enough care of them? did I do everything right? did I read enough about them? did they ever suffer in my care? were they happy? Strange the things the mind dwells on.

Thankfully, and more importantly, I feel the same way about my present-day pets. Currently two demanding and often naughty cats.

Thanks for the remembrance.
et_blackbird
Dec. 26th, 2005 10:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Childhood Pets
We had terrapins for a few years when we were kids, and then tropical fish for a while after the terrapins had to go to the zoo because they got too big. The terrapins were great: we named them Asterix and Obelix, because the size difference fitted those names. We tried our best to look after them, and I don't look back feeling guilty: even though I no longer approve of the keeping of exotic animals as pets, I know they were already in captivity and they were comfortable with us.

Other than that, there were the cats. I miss my cats now.

I wouldn't dwell on feelings of guilt: as I say, the animals were already born into captivity, and you probably did take good care of them. I'm sure they didn't suffer.
_kaiser_
Dec. 26th, 2005 08:26 am (UTC)
thank you for sharing a little christmas cheer. i certainly needed a little pick me up and this did the trick.
pipedream
Dec. 26th, 2005 11:53 am (UTC)
That song is hilarious-- it made my morning =)
et_blackbird
Dec. 26th, 2005 02:29 pm (UTC)
No Ann, that's Emily's Hamster!
Oh no! Sorry to hear you had to wait so long to get back home. Airports and planes... bleh. I must not have kept my fingers crossed tightly enough. I hope you got home safe and sound soon after this.

Maggotty food: how gross. It happens sometimes: we've had cat-food bags and squirrel-food bags infested with maggots, and we once got a bag of flour that had tiny maggots in it, and Marcin barely noticed that they were there! That quiche nearly had a high protein content.

"Maggots roasting on an open fire..." I wonder how many of your readers felt their cold turkey leftovers rising at that image!
ewe_2
Dec. 26th, 2005 09:53 pm (UTC)
"Maggots roasting on an open fire, hampsters nipping at your toes!”

That ending is just too funny. I think everyone had a hampster one time or another. I had Wiggles.

Merry Christmas to you and Tom.

:-)

D
et_blackbird
Dec. 26th, 2005 10:20 pm (UTC)
What is a Stomper?

My brother and I had about thirty Matchbox cars between us. We used to race them up and down the hall and landing. I think they are all in a box in the attic in my parents' new house.
fredo_joaquin
Dec. 27th, 2005 04:20 am (UTC)
I clicked on this post without making eye contact at the text - the LJ equivalent of walking by someone who is saying something you don't want to hear with your fingers in your ears and saying "BLAH BLAH BLAH" very loudly 'cause that "m" word you kept using creeps the shit out of me.

Just wanted to say: it was WONDERFUL to see you. Doesn't happen nearly often enough!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )