It’s easy for me to let things pile up and get me down. Plenty of stressful stuff happens, much of it regular life stressful. Some is worse, though there’s always the newspaper for disaster reality check. By that measure we continue to be so, so fortunate.

Still, I wouldn’t say it’s been a fun week.

But when I heard the hamster formerly known as Lalo, rehoused by friends and now named Dill Pickle, had escaped and was on the loose, I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I texted the new owners helpful advice about crawling around and thinking like a hamster, but they were overwhelmed. He was nowhere to be seen. A day passed, a night. So, being the busybody I am, I went over there to do some hamster tracking.

I don’t know why I assumed I’d be able to find the little guy, but I felt pretty confident. Where, after all, could he have gotten to?

Our first clue: the daughter had heard some scratching in the night, so we started in her room, the closet, under the bed, behind the dresser. Not a trace of any furry disturbances, and no telltale little hamster poops.

We started again, from the cage location in the living room, and fanned out. The kitchen seemed obvious, but no sign of him in any of the nooks and crannies. The stove had a gap maybe big enough to squeeze through, but I kept on around the room. It was only when I started digging around behind things in the little pantry that I found the first hot clue: a significantly nibbled almond! Ah-ha! Thanks to their tidyness, the next clue came easily. I’m not sure a bit of shredded paper would register as that unusual in the crevasses of my pantry, but it sure seemed suspicious here.

I pulled out a bag of bags, a few other items, and voila! Dill Pickle himself, hamster of many identities, looking quite pleased to have found such a cozy, snack-filled hideaway. His new family screamed in joy, though he seemed happy enough to be recaptured, and not bothered by his adventure.

But the celebration of the people! With joy they texted friends who had heard of his escape and followed the updates, fearful of a terrible fate.

One rodent saved.

A small achievement maybe, but a nice way to end the weekend. Hailed briefly as a hero by somebody else’s family. I highly recommend it to anyone with teens!