As the Wheel Turns

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

As the Wheel Turns

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” -Henry Ford

Tootsie didn’t understand what had happened to her relationship with Pete.  At first, it had all been so promising.  He had been attentive when she had first moved in.  Pete had held her tight and traced his fingers lightly over her chin while she drifted off to sleep.  Tootsie had woken up to meals that Pete had prepared just for her.  He would read her stories and keep her company until the wee small hours of the morning.  Yes, things had all started so happily for a lad and his hamster.

Then, as inevitably happens, Pete grew weary of Tootsie’s presence.  He would let a comment slip about the jowls around Tootsie’s neck.  He stopped feeding her expensive food and let her nibble on whatever morsels lay around the house.

When she had first moved in, Tootsie had been allowed free roam of their shared living space. Now she was confined to a metal cage.  She felt it terribly unfair that Pete was allowed to strap on his jogging shoes and run around outside, but Tootsie was expected to be content with her tiny world.  Pete was the one making jokes to his friends about how chubby Tootsie looked, but she was the one trapped with an exercise wheel and no other activities.  Tootsie wondered how inspired Pete would be to keep in shape if he were trapped running on the same boring machine hour after hour, every day.

Tootsie took a sip from the giant water bottle and took in a few stale drops of water.  The sweat from her morning stroll around the wheel was dripping down her body, matting clumps of hair together.  She wanted some sort of fun before she began yet another stroll around the circular treadmill later in the afternoon.  She had long ago wondered if all this exercise was really worth the benefits.  She knew that she could still squeeze through an empty cardboard tube.  Paper towels, toilet paper; she was up for any tiny obstacle that was placed in her path.  Yet, as she looked in her smudged mirror with the blue plastic frame that only slightly cheered up her drab environment, Tootsie saw no difference in her appearance.  She still appeared, as Pete so succinctly put it, like a giant fluffed up furball.

Staring at the clock on the wall, Tootsie tried to slow down her heart rate.  Her goal was always the same.  She wanted her heart to beat at the same tempo as the second hand.  If it was a good enough goal for Pete, then it was fine for her.  Yet, try as she might, the thump-thump sound of her chest was always ticking away much faster than any clock.  She closed her eyes, took deep breaths, tried to picture a white pearl in front of her nose in a black room; none of it worked.  As healthy as Tootsie should have been with her maddening exercise routine, she just couldn’t seem to measure up to Pete’s goals.

Maybe that was what was keeping them apart, Tootsie wondered.  When they had started spending so much time together, Pete’s attentions had been focused solely on his precious hamster.  Tootsie had thought that she was Pete’s entire world.  He laughed as she burrowed underneath her bedding, made sure her water was fresh, and generally watched her every adorable move.  But Tootsie had to admit that upon second thought, there had been signs that his attention had been waning.  Pete had other things on his mind.  He had work, friends, television, and books.  All Tootsie had were her cage and Pete’s affections.  She still liked having Pete around, but she wanted more.  Pete had started off holding the key to her heart, and now he wouldn’t even unlock the cage.

In desperation at her state, Tootsie crawled into the corner of her living quarters.  She was in no mood to eat or exercise.  She simply wanted to the world to make sense.  She wanted the same amount of attention that she had once gotten.  Why couldn’t anyone make Tootsie the center of her world?

Little did she know, Tootsie’s unheard pleadings were about to be answered.  Pete opened the apartment door at that moment with a paper bag in his hand and a smile on his face.  He walked straight to Tootsie’s cage as he reached inside the sack.

“I thought you could use a little pick-me up”, Pete teased.  “I know I haven’t been around much, but hopefully this’ll help.”

Tootsie heard a squeak come from the bag.  She hunched nervously in the corner, not sure what to expect.  Pete opened the cage door, placed his other fist inside, and then closed the squeaky latch once more.

There, much to Tootsie’s delight; was a male hamster.  And he was quite cute.

“Hey there”, the Hamster said as he winked one of his brown eyes.  “I’m Hugh.  How you doin’?”

“I’m fine”, Tootsie found herself saying.  “Much better now that you’re here.”

On that day Tootsie’s lonely and cramped world opened up.  All kinds of possibilities were now hers to explore.


About Cosand
He's a simple enough fellow. He likes movies, comics, radio shows from the 40's, and books. He likes to write and wishes his cat wouldn't shed on his laptop.

4 Responses to As the Wheel Turns

  1. diannegray says:

    This is wonderful – thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. s1ngal says:

    awww… i was about to change your story [half-way].
    “Why couldn’t anyone make Tootsie the center of her world? Little did she know, Tootsie’s unheard pleadings were about to be answered. s1ngal opened the apartment door at that moment with a BIG smile on her face. She picked Tootsie up and gave her all the attention in the whole world & they lived happily ever after….”

    then i read the whole thing. it was difficult the way it was going… but well “Beautiful” story. I was really beginning to get mad at Pete but awwwwwww…. just so beautiful. I can’t stop typing here LOL 😀

    • Never actually had a hamster, but I’m sure my cat feels neglected. Glad you felt for the poor gal. (I was, -was- going to leave it the way you expected. But I just couldn’t!)

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