Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,
Crazed degus nipping at your hands...

What a scene it was. Mallory was in transports of pure joy over her Christmas gift- a Chilean Degu. She was SO happy and proud that she just HAD to show it to her Grandmere. But Grandmere is 80 years old, so instead of having her go upstairs to see Leon the Degu, she put him in a little plastic transport box and brought him down to the living room.
And he just looked SO cute that she couldn't resist opening the lid of the carrier, just a bit. And little Leon just couldn't resist sitting up and poking his head over the top. And when he saw the wide open spaces, he decided to make a break for it. He LEAPED out of the cage and scrambled across the floor like a mad thing.
Chaos ensued.
The kids grabbed the two cats (great rat-hunters both), pushed them out the door and slammed it. No one had any idea of where the degu had gone, except Alexa who SWORE she'd seen him scuttle under the Christmas tree. So, we poked and shook the tree till every needle was off it.
No degu.
We looked everywhere.
Mallory wept.
In my mind, I concocted Plan B: I'd let the cats in. I figured that I could probably get the degu away from them before they actually managed to decapitate him. (Decapitating rats was sort of our cats' hobby back in Africa)

But before I could clear the room and implement my risky scheme, Mallory spotted Leon behind the couch!! Valentine stationed herself at one end with a blanket, I was at the other end with a towel. I had the other kids blocking the archway that leads to the reading room.
I was sure we'd get him...but he scrambled under the couch, then right over Severin's legs and behind a bookcase.
We pulled the bookcase away and almost had him, but he scrambled right over Severin again and headed back towards the couch.
At this point, Severin had really had enough of being jumped on by a "rat".

In the end, it was Alexa that captured Leon. She's very agile, that child. And for some reason, he didn't bite her. He sure bit me when I picked him up to stuff him back into his box. I think he somehow sensed my Plan B and was punishing me for even thinking such a horrible thing...

So, that was our Christmas Day excitement. I hope that yours is more calm than mine and features fewer (as in ZERO) small, biting, scrambling, escaped rodents...


oreneta said...

Good lord what a lot of excitement...though I have to admit we have done similar things, ust not at Xmas.....

babzee said...

Not a word of this surprises me, and I am completely delighted with it, and the happy outcome. May Leon learn his rightful, royal place and be satisfied with his new home. And may you not contract Degu fever.