Three years ago, just after I made the joyful move back into my parents’ house (please read the former with just a hint of sarcasm), I let it be known that I had an overwhelming urge to purchase a hamster.

“No,” my mother stated firmly. And so I ended up going out and spending several thousand dollars on a saltwater aquarium instead. Now that several years have elapsed, and I have some perspective, I can tell you, Internet, that, without a doubt, getting a hamster would have been a much better choice.

Do you remember the show “Tales of the Riverbank?” Of course you do. But just in case you are having “one of those days,” I will remind you that it was a children’s television programme that ran intermittently from the early ’60s all the way until 1998. You will recall that it starred Hammy the Hamster and featured other notable characters such as GP the Guinea Pig, Roderick the Water Rat, Turtle, and Berti and Herbi.

So what made this show so remarkable? I will tell you what: those rodents captained boats! Sailboats, ferryboats, steamboats and motorboats were only a few of the water crafts these clever little mammals handled. But their genius was not limited to chauffeuring aquatic vehicles. I watched one episode where Hammy the Hamster and Roderick the Water Rat used power tools to assemble and erect a clock tower. Even I have difficulties when using tools such as power saws, so you can imagine my amazement (and jealousy) when I witnessed a rat use one with ease.

“How?” I thought to myself. “Rats do not even have thumbs.” And yet, the lack of an opposable digit did nothing to hinder this animal’s carpentry ability. In fact, as shown in the clip below, the rat was even able to use a drill and a hammer without the aid of a pollex.

When not building clock towers, episodes of the series indicated that Hammy enjoyed spending his time fishing. Prior to watching this show, I had never realized that rodents were even able to fish let alone use it as a means of unwinding. But the exposure to Hammy’s past times got me thinking: where did this hamster even get the money to buy a boat? After all, Hammy owned at least two boats and one car. Fine, I am willing to admit that it is possible he merely leased them, but even so, how did he earn the money required to make his monthly payments? And what kind of deals do insurance companies offer hamsters?

I feel that the show missed out on a great opportunity to explore the working world of rodents and the real obstacles they face.


1 Response to “Hamsters”

  1. 1 Accidentally Me December 8, 2009 at 9:46 am

    There are a at least a million rats that live within a quarter of a mile of my apartment, and not ONE of them has ever so much as offered to re-spackle the holes in my walls where old pictures used to hang!!!

    But let me tell you, I would dramatically change my opining of them if they did…

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