June 22, 2009

It had the shakes. Its skin was blotchy and scabbed where the hair had been torn out in clumps. The hair itself was thin, dull, the color of weak tea, in a word, lifeless. The hamster jumped or spun insanely in circles at the slightest sound, say a leaf blowing against the window pane or the lazy buzzing of an elderly fly. Its nose was bloody from being pressed against the cage as its yellow teeth chewed on the mesh. Its wide wild eyes bled in terror. And all of this occurred during the peace of daytime. When, however, the coffin lid began to creak open at the dawn of night, what a racing and hurling of itself against the little cage walls was undertaken by the hamster, what an emptying of bladder and bowel. Was it any wonder?

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