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A Hamster By Any Other Name

August 4th, 2010 (08:31 pm)

current mood: busy

My son's friend and his family have been in Spain for much of the summer. We're feeding their hamster this week. The other day, my son and I walked over to their house, let ourselves in with the key, and proceeded to the hamster cage. I opened the bag of hamster food and began to tell Jon Morgan what Merlin likes to eat.

"Mommy, why did you call him Merlin?" asked Jon Morgan. "The hamster's name isn't Merlin. The hamster's name is Deadbolt!"

"No, it's not," I told him. "It's Merlin, like the wizard. See, the note here by his cage calls him Merlin."

He told me I was wrong, and so was the note. Daddy had said that the hamster's name was Merlin, and that's what he and Daddy had been calling him. Mystified, I asked him where Daddy had gotten that idea. He didn't know, but Daddy had said so, and he knew it was true.

A few minutes later, I pulled out our sheet of instructions at home. The first sentence said the key would fit only the lock in the doorknob, because the DEADBOLT was broken. Somehow, my husband misread that as a statement of the hamster's name.