I am currently editing a book and came across a bitter-sweet story about a dog who kills the beloved pet bird of the author’s daughters. It brought a vivid reminder of an incident that happened last May in my own home. Herewith a repeat of the post I wrote then:
I have two hamsters; Peanut and Raisin.
I have two dogs; Lulubelle and Fritzl.
The dogs have been taught that it is very naughty to try and bite the hamsters.
The dogs are very inquisitive about the hamsters.
The hamsters seem to appreciate the dogs’ interest; in fact, Peanut often hangs on the bars of his cage and lets Lulubelle lick his tummy through the bars.
Case for the prosecution:
Saturday afternoon, about a fortnight ago, heard Fritzl giving two sharp barks, so I walked down our passage to investigate and my heart stopped.
Fritzl was bent over a prone, apparently dead Raisin.
I let out a bellow that brought Old Spouse and Original Bunn running.
We all shouted curses and death threats at Fritzl and he was sent outside for the rest of the day.
We turned to deal with the little body of the poor hamster, who opened one eye and, seeing that the coast was clear, belted back to his cage, where he wiggled in through a wonky bar.
Upon thorough examination it was clear that he was drenched in Fritzl saliva.
Case for the defence:
Upon further thorough examination, it was clear that Raisin did not have a single puncture mark on his body. In fact he immediately ate a piece of apple and had a long, energetic spin in his exercise-wheel.
FACT: Fritzl can chomp through a porkchop bone in two seconds flat.
FACT: Raisin’s bones are rather more flimsy than a porkchop’s.
FACT: The room where the hamster cages are kept is about six meters from where I found Fritzl with Raisin in the passage.
Could it be that Fritzl is innocent?
Is it possible that he was simply lying in the sun on the carpet next to the hamsters, as he does, and noticed that Raisin was out of his cage?
Did he bark to call me?
Did he lift Raisin into his mouth, drooling, to bring him safely to me? Dropping him a few times because he held him so gently. Is it on one of these drops that I spotted him?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury, would Fritzl not have crushed that tiny skull and relished that tender meat? Would he not have hidden the remains?
I ask you to consider your verdict carefully.