Last night, Big A and a friend were quietly passing time in the playroom. This made me nervous, so I popped in to check on them.
ME: How's it going?
Big A and Friend: Good
ME: What are you guys doing? (They appeared to be working feverishly on some sort of project that involved yarn, stacks of cards and empty tubes of paper towels)
Big A and Friend: Playing/Nothing
ME: OK, well let me know if you need anything.
Before I left the room, I glanced at the sign that they had hanging on the wall by them. It read:
"Hamster Setup Experimentation"
I got about two steps down the hallway, when my thought processor finally warmed up and fired sparks to the "warning" portion of my brain. It sounded like this:
Wait. (I stopped dead in my tracks)
We have a hamster.
No, ridiculous thought.
GO CHECK ANYWAY!!
ME: Um, what does that sign mean?
Big A: Nothing, we're playing
ME: Where exactly is our hamster?
Big A and Friend: Look at each other and pause a second too long
ME: Where is it?
Tube begins rolling suspiciously off desk.
ME: GIVE ME THE HAMSTER
Big A: We're playing experiment
A second glance at the desk does indeed indicate some elementary form of testing: the cards aren't stacked haphazardly, but in something reminiscent of an obstacle course. The tubes have sunflower seed and corn at the ends of them.
Defeatedly, the hamster is relinquished.
ME: (to furry creature in my hand) I'm sorry
Hamster: You're getting slow. You're lucky I have no capability whatsoever to contact PETA. Do you know how tiring it is to keep going back and forth in the same pattern, seeming to never please those you are scurrying for, wondering what the big picture is and when the exhaustion and running will end?
ME: You have no idea.