I will never again keep a small creature in a glass box or cage. I will refrain from bringing home anything small and furry and scritchy-scratchy in a little cardboard box from the pet store. This will be hard. I have a child who loves little things: mice, hamsters, rabbits... they are impossible for her to resist with their soft little ears and beady little eyes. Their twitching noses and pink feet.
We must resist.
It is difficult to know a creature so small, so dependent. Little feet behind glass. Little heart beating. And not beating.
Another dead hamster and this one a complete surprise.
Upstairs, the kids and their dad engage in a pre-sleep wrestling match. They shout and laugh. I don't know how to tell them. Don't know when is the best time to reveal a small, dead thing.
Not before bed. Not tonight, when the tooth fairy is headed to our house.
Maybe I can tell them the tooth fairy took the hamster, too.
Tomorrow, a garden funeral before summer camp followed by the retirement of the glass aquarium and the running wheel and the house shaped like a cake.
No more small pets. I am writing it down so I don't forget.