while surfing though the blog realm the other day, i happened across this *amazing* blog that features stories about a world where rodents rule all.


naturally, i was compelled to comment immediately, and just received a very gracious contribution to our site from mr. tooty nolan himself! neato!

this fantastic work of fiction made me giggle and gasp all at once, and i do hope that all you gerbilize lovers take the time to stop by tooty’s blog and let him know what you thought of his submission: http://tooty1701.wordpress.com

so sit back, take a deep breath, and dive into this wonderful little tale of hamster horror……

Hello girls – thanks for your comment on The Bucktooth Times. In response please accept this tale of horror. Hope you can use it – and that it’s not too ghastly. Tooty

When Good Hamsters Go Bad!
Regard the picture below if you will. Now doesn’t that look like a happy day out in the family powerboat? Look how eager they are to clamber down the ladder in the stern, and take a quick dip in a sparkling summer sea. And the little guy on the prow hauling in a Great White or what-not: What an excellent day it’s obviously been for him. All in all it is a scene of familial bliss. Or is it?

What you don’t know is that once upon a time there were fifteen members of this toothy gang. Then, of course, all was well – and not a harsh word could be heard to pass between them. Until that fateful day. But let’s step back a few months… Like most people, these little fella’s owner thought that Russian hamsters were cute furry blobs that enjoyed eating seeds and stuff. And by and large he was right. They WERE furry: They WERE blobs – with stick-like legs poking out of them: And they DID enjoy eating seeds and other vegetable-based ‘stuff’. All was sweetness and light in the home of Mr and Mrs Popyourcorkalov and their brood. Sure there was the problem of over-crowding – but the clever owner took care of that by installing a wire cage above the glass tank that they called home, which could be accessed by a nifty ladder that hung down from the cage like a scaling net. And the subsequent passing of the elderly parents eased pressures too. And even then all would have been well for the excitable little rodents – had not the same owner decided to ‘have a laugh’. Cue extreme lack of wisdom and the inevitable tragedy that was bound to follow. He wondered how they would react to the presence of a cooked chicken leg being hung from the cage. Well they didn’t react well at all. They poured from their sleeping quarters like a furry Mongol horde, and attacked it with a ferocity that would have put a shoal of piranha to shame, with the efficiency of a band of starving hyena. In short they tore it to pieces, then fought over the bones. This came as a surprise to their owner; but he thought little of it until the next day. Come the morning – and he discovered that he no longer owned thirteen Russian hamsters: Instead he owned only twelve. Well twelve and a half actually. The skin and teeth of Number Thirteen were buried in the sawdust beside the latrine. Worse still the previously unified twelve were now ensconced within two different sleeping-quarters. Six up stairs: Six below. And woe betide any of the ‘below’ gang if they ventured ‘upstairs’. And vice versa of course. So a social experiment was begun: Those below stairs received their food first. The others – slumbering through the daylight hours – dipped out. So the ‘below’ gang became big and tough, whilst the ‘upstairs’ boys and girls became trim and feeble. Well before long the situation was reversed. ‘Upstairs’ was repopulated, and the newly-dispossessed ‘below’ gang began to get well fed. This situation continued for several cycles before an escalation of hostilities. One morning the ‘upstairs’ group were found to number only five – and with no apparent escape route found it was pretty obvious what had happened to the poor unfortunate who must have risen early and tried to help himself to some nibbles. A week later and the balance of power was resumed. Now they numbered only ten. It became obvious that something would have to be done – so with fewer inhabitants to cater for – the cage could be safely removed, and unity returned. Oh dear – not so. They merely moved to opposite ends of the tank and glared myopically at each other over the intervening distance. Then the fighting began in earnest. Ten quickly became eight – became six – became…personalities. With only six – three in each gang – the tiny gladiators became distinct from one another. One of them also became blind – which meant that he was easy meat, and could be attacked during the daytime as well as the night. Well the owner wasn’t going to put up with that – so he placed a partition between them. But one night the gang that possessed six good eyes raided the other camp by scaling the partition, and carried off one of the other three. This left ‘Blindy’ and his best ‘Chum’ to face an inevitable defeat together. But amazingly the others turned on each other first, until only one rabid-looking individual remained alive on ‘the other side’. Then he started raiding – and ‘Chum’ spent most of his waking hours protecting ‘Blindy’ from attack by ‘Rabid’. This continued for perhaps a week – until ‘Chum’ grew sick and tired of the incessant war – and promptly made an attack of his own – and, much to the surprise of their hatefully callous owner, carried the corpse back for ‘Blindy’ to eat – which he did, of course. A sorry tale or what? But, you’ll be glad to know, it does have a happy ending. Well two actually. Chum and Blindy lived happily ever after – intil they died of old age – about two months later: And the owner vowed never to keep Russian hamsters again. And who was that evil bastard? Tooty Nolan – that’s who!

© Paul Trevor Nolan
This article first appeared in The Bucktooth Times.