vanilla My nieces got their first pet. Vanilla.

This hamster just lucked out. She pretty much resides full-time in my sister's pocket or on the girls' laps. And while most rodent pets tend to end up neglected and short-lived, Nat and I take hamsters seriously. The pair we had as kids- Perko and Frilly - were absolute stars of the family. Perko was really really old and had grown a tumor the size of a guava before my Dad threw her over the river bank. I don't remember what happened to Frilly.

(Update: Nat says "actually they took Perko to the vet. They said they charged $10 if you watched the animal be put to sleep or $0 if you didn’t watch. There was no tossing over the bank!"  Maybe it was Frilly that went over the bank?)

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