Squeaky died sometime in the night. Scotty said that he noticed when the hamster wheel suddenly went silent. Oh, well. It was his time.
Scotty was always pragmatic about things in his life. Lose a favorite car? Oh, well. It'll turn up somewhere. Dropping a slice of pizza? Oh, well. Things happen. So when Squeaky's little ancient hamster heart stopped beating, we both thought about how to give him a send off.
Scotty had been into Vikings after watching "How to train your Dragon" for the twentieth time. "Let's throw a Viking funeral!"
He retrieved a canoe/barge made of popsicle sticks at church camp last summer. We put Squeaky on a pile of twigs layered in the water craft. After pushing the funeral barge out in the swimming pool, Scotty used the "Hunger Games" bow with a burning marshmallow at the point of the arrow aimed at the barge.
Again and again.
When the canoe finally caught fire, it initially went up in flames and the thing burned before hisssssing out and sinking, leaving a singed Squeaky floating on the top of the water.
I managed to scoop Squeaky from the failed Viking send-off with the pool skimmer. What now?
Scotty had watched some warrior movie where the slaughtered hero was placed on a funeral pyre. "Let's do that, Dad!" So we did.
We lay out some sticks criss-crossed and carefully placed Squeaky on it. Scotty
I didn't know how we were going to give Squeaky a big send off. But, Scotty, being the boy scout he is, had an idea which made me wince and cringe. It made sense, but man....really?
I pulled out the old rusty Coleman barbecue and built a pyramid of Kingsford guaranteed-to-light charcoal briquettes. Scotty placed Squeaky in the center above the coals, using my brand new set of BBQ tool set. Then he used the Kingsford lighter and got the coals going.
At first, it seemed that Squeaky was finally heading to his fiery hamster Valhalla. But Noooo.
Squeaky had some sparks here and there, but clearly the charcoal was not enough. It developed a nice white ash like briquettes do. But that was it. Instead, the odor of grilled Squeaky told us the truth.
By this time, Scotty had had enough. "Let's just bury it." He retrieved a shovel from the garden and quickly dispatched the hamster with minimum effort.
Oh now, what will he ask? What do I say?
"Dad? Can we go to Famous Dave's BBQ tonight? Mom has a coupon for free appetizers." He wiped a charcoal streaked hand across his nose. "I'm kinda in the the mood for ribs, aren't you?"
This was first posted on 22 March 2014, Decided to re-post it, since I really enjoyed writing it:
Sorry about the lengthy story; just got going on it, I guess.
My daughter's hamster Max died on the first day of middle school. My son, in an unusual act of kindness, placed it in a shoe box and buried it. Nothing elaborate, mind you. She has never recovered from the loss, she says (at age 32).