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June 1, 2013

Teenhood Today: Bob, the Houdini hamster


There was one in particular that stole my heart. It was a very, very tiny white one with caramel markings all over it. But it was my brother’s decision. I subtly mentioned the caramel one, smoothly pointed out the positives of choosing that one as the pet, and got down on my knees begging for my brother to take that one home. 

He chose the gray one.  

We were now the proud owners of a large, gray hamster. No cuteness. No fun colors. Nope. Just large and gray. The obvious name choices were Storm Cloud, Tear Drop, and Egg Carton. My brother chose Bob. 

We were now the proud owners of a large, gray hamster named Bob. There was so much excitement wrapped up in his description that I could only imagine the fun we would have in the future with him. I imagined him sitting in the corner of his cage, just sitting there. Being gray. Being Bob. 

In actuality, Bob turned out to be a Houdini hamster. He could get out of his cage no matter what we did! We tried everything to keep his cage fortified, but to no avail. He would always escape and boldly go where no hamster had gone before (cue dramatic theme song). I’m sure that if you were to ask anyone in my family, you would be able to get a Bob story out of them. Places we found him. Places we didn’t, mostly his cage and exercise ball. 

Bob lived longer than most hamsters, but his days escaping did eventually come to a close. We had a dramatic funeral for him and can now lovingly look out our kitchen window and see where his little body was buried. We will always remember our little Houdini hamster. 

But for now, our pet cycle is back to owning fish.

Miriam A. Thurber is a sophomore at Unatego Central School. ‘Teen Talk’ columns can be found at

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