History, it is said, is written by the victors; or in this case, by the side with opposable thumbs.
At 7:26 a.m. Wednesday, the insurgent Bugsy the Hamster was nabbed in a recessed well where the seatbelt retracts in my truck. He was asleep. I had a pair of work gloves. He never had a chance.
He could very easily have become a casualty of our little war, but I am nothing if not humane and respectful of the creatures with which we share this planet, especially those that are supposed to be cute, cuddly and less trouble than a puppy. He had committed a number of crimes: desertion, evading capture, chewing through the wire to my cell phone ear bud. He certainly deserved whatever punishment I desired to mete out.
But Bugsy and I sat down for a little tête à tête, our own local Camp David Peace Accords of which even Jimmy Carter would have been proud. I signed a non-aggression pact. Bugsy laid his paw print upon a rodent non-proliferation agreement. All that was left was the prisoner exchange.
This time I imprisoned Bugsy in a 13-gallon plastic trashcan with sloped, slick sides. As an added measure of protection, I attached the can to the bed (not the cab) of my truck with bungee cord. He didn’t much like it, so I tossed in my phone ear bud with which, had it worked, he could have called someone who cared.
I pulled up to PetSmart and the pneumatic doors flew open as if they were some glorified Check Point Charlie. On either side stood a column of festooned employees, a marching band, and color guard to welcome home Bugsy, the conquering hero, the prodigal rat, their own little Nelson Mandela formerly imprisoned and persecuted by the human with the gas-guzzling truck. Bugsy trotted through his phalanx of supporters, the last of whom in her powder blue PetSmart smock scowled at me, ever defiant in my “1001 Uses for a Dead Cat” t-shirt. Sic semper tyrannis.
By the grace of God and the prevailing of a compassionate heart, peace reigns again in Hamsterland and in the House of Morton.