You would not believe the number of kids that come up to the children’s department for the hamster called Fuzzy. The little white ball of fur that, more often than not, hides and sleeps in his little green house, away from the leering eyes of his legions of fans. He’s been up here longer than I have, which is to say he’s old. For a hamster. In the summer he started looking a little, oh, sickly. His once wide eyes now squinting, his white fur now balding in places. Not to mention the fruit flies, like little vultures, hovering around his brightly colored tube-house. It was sad. But we nursed him back to health. We did. We changed his diet and he seems better now. Still squinty, but you know, alive and kickin’. But our little scare in the summer brought up some interesting questions: when he does die, how do we tell the kids? Do we tell the kids? Can we buy another and sneak it in? We don’t want to make people sad, but we don’t want to lie either, so it’s tough. People are already questioning his authenticity. It must be the people whose parents told them their dog Sparky was heading to the farm for a better life. They look at our geriatric hamster, then over at us, and say conspiratorially, “this isn’t the same hamster, is it?” (go on, you can tell me). And we have to say, “no, really, it’s the same hamster, he has diabetes.” Then they look in our eyes to see if we’re really telling the truth. We are. I swear. We diagnosed our hamster with diabetes, and after changing his diet to something with less sugar in it he is doing better. This is my life now. A squinty-eyed diabetic hamster whom the kids love and whom we’re using as the theme for our new children’s page, with the amazing illustrations of Jon Stommel (website coming soon--stay tuned!). Well, that and books. Here’s a fantasy book for adults; The Magicians by Lev Grossman. Think Harry Potter mixed with the One Tree Hill. Oh yeah, I went there.
Did I mention we also have a hermit crab?