If you dare me to jump off a cliff into the ocean or jump out of a perfectly good airplane with a parachute, I will not do it. There are some dares that I find irresistible, however, and today, someone tossed such a dare at my feet.
It started innocently enough as Frances Willick, someone I follow on Twitter, posted a link about a hamster that was rescued during a blizzard in Edinburgh. (See story here.)
I responded that it was too bad that Robbie Burns had passed away long ago because it would be a great story to put in verse.
“I dare you,” Frances responded forthrightly.
“Och aye! That’s an irresistible dare,” said I.
And so it was born: a poem about a hamster, who survived a wintry blast in Scotland and found succour with the SPCA. The Edinburgh SPCA named the hamster Poppy, gave it fame, and tried to find its owner – or a new one that would give it a good home.
Burns wrote a poem called To A Mouse, so it’s not much of a stretch to write one dedicated to such a hardy and famous hamster.
Ode to a Hamster
O wee, fluffae, darin’ rodent
Thy thinkin’ kinna be less cogent
To venture out in a blizzard
An’ scoff an’ mock winter’s wizard
Och! Did thy owner cast thee out?
Or did ye weary of the lout?
Dinna hae give ye wee nibbles?
An’ water bottle tha’ dribbles?
Sallow face wi’ emptae cheeks
Of tha’ cruel fate surely speaks
Like some beggar on a mount’in
Wi’ no blessins for a’countin’
Poppy, O small jitt’ry beastie
Ye have found a great big feastie
Y’ill nee’ nae go on such daft spree
When fine cozie home awaits thee
With apologies to Robbie Burns and a hope that my Grampy and Granny Smith, who hailed from Castle Douglas, will get a wee chuckle from this.