This story is the prequel to “The Truth about Hamsters,” which I wrote for a school assignment where I was supposed to write a myth or folk tale. My teacher loved it!
How the Humans Domesticated the Hamsters
(by Allison Rose)
I’m really tired about all of those silly stories about how leopards got their spots, chipmunks got their stripes, etc. etc. It’s almost like the writers have forgotten about those weird, furrless bipedal beings that are scientifically referred to as “humans.” This story is to remedy this problem.
Once upon a time, there was an adolescent human female named Mogh. Mogh’s family lived in a cave, as, according to subsequently discovered cave paintings, her species had been doing for quite some time. As was common among the cave-dwelling tribes, Mogh’s family hunted the four-legged creatures for their various resources. One full-grown quagga could provide not only leggings and moccasins for at least three young ones; its meat would feed them for a full week. Nothing was wasted, but when a herd died out, Mogh’s family would migrate to a new cave and seek food and shelter there.
Now, Mogh had a little brother named Ugh. Ugh did not care to hunt. His descendant, a man named Charles, would not only theorize that he’d been descended from apes and not Ugh’s people, but that, because Ugh was different, natural selection would surely have do him in! Instead, Ugh survived and took care of the four-legged creatures that had been wounded but not killed by his family’s spears. He forged trusting bonds with these creatures, and began to domesticate them.
There was one creature, however, that Ugh could not seem to tame. It was one that archaeologists, anthropologists, and paleontologists alike would ponder about for centuries, scratching their balding heads in wonder. It was dubbed the Giant Hamster, as the modern, domesticated hamsters were the only skeletons this giant Loch Ness Monster of the prehistoric age came close to resembling.
For decades, Ugh worked at trying to capture a Giant Hamster and tame it, but to no avail. Evidence suggests, though, that this was only because nobody had invented the rope yet. In another cave, however, a human named Grrrrup had invented what modern engineers would later call a “wheel.” Put four of these wheels underneath a slab of rock, push with your feet, and voila! You had a vehicle that did not smell, make noise, or need to “giddy-yapped” constantly, like the quaggas Ugh had domesticated some years before. As it were, some centuries later, Grrrrup would have a descendant named Henry, who would mass-produce these vehicles under the name “Model-T.”
On one of their many migratory journeys across the landmass historians want to call “Pangea,” Ugh and Mogh’s family’s occupation of a certain cave coincided with that of Grrrrup’s. Grrrrup had arrived there first, on his four-wheeled vehicle, and adamantly refused to share the cave with the family of Ugh and Mogh, unless they gave Mogh to him as a wife. Because the women’s liberation movement had not yet come to pass, having yet to originate in a different cave on the far side of Pangea, Mogh had no say in the matter, and was given to Grrrrup as a wife.
Grrrrup worked tirelessly to impress his new wife and her family, although his efforts resulted in what modern humorists now refer to as the punchlines for mother-in-law jokes. Finally, as a last effort, Grrrrup showed Mogh his four-wheeled vehicle, and took her and her family for a drive in it. The ride around the perimeter of the cave left both Mogh and Ugh, the latter of whom was still very much alive, counter to what that dude named Charles would like to think, very impressed. Ugh’s sharp mind now visualized the perfect enclosure in which he could hold the ever-so-elusive Giant Hamster.
Giant Hamsters loved to run, and could cover the whole of Pangea and back in a matter of hours. Eventually, some of these Giant Hamsters ventured out into the great sea, where they learned to swim and stay under water for extended periods of time. There are those among us today who stupidly insist on calling these Giant Hamsters who adapted to marine life “whales.”
The Giant Hamsters who stayed on land, however, were content with running back and forth across these great distances. Surely, Ugh reasoned, they would tire of having to turn around when they reached the sea.
Ugh had a solution. He would create for the Giant Hamsters a never-ending course for them to traverse, as infinitely circular as the Great Circle that rose and fell from the Great Blue: a wheel.
Ugh spoke to Grrrrup, who readily agreed to collaborate with him in this invention. At the same time, Mogh found great vines sprouting from a tree outside of the family’s cave, serving the purpose of modern rope. The three devised a plan for them to capture a Giant Hamster by placing a loop of vine around its neck and pull it to the giant wheel Grrrrup had carved. Their plan worked.
The Giant Hamster occupied itself with running in endless circles in the great wheel Ugh and Grrrrup had designed. Common belief was, the Giant Hamster was happy with its new living arrangement. The only one who was happy, however, was Mogh, who was given the Giant Hamster as a pet. In fact, Mogh would one day have a descendant named Stevie, who would one day own a hamster of her own.
And so ends the story of how the humans domesticated the hamsters. The now-domesticated Giant Hamster, however, plotted to one day have its revenge, as, for centuries, it plotted to achieve dominance over its wretched human masters….