The Fountain

Pepper, the class hamster, gave birth to three babies the morning before June arrived. My fourth graders had just learned the different ways baby animals are born, so when they saw the naked, little things like chewed pieces of bubblegum squirming in the sawdust, they accused me of being a liar. “Mr. Brooks,” they said, “you told us a girl and a boy were needed to make babies.” I tried to think of some explanation—another male hamster snuck into the class and impregnated Pepper or she was already pregnant when I got her from the pet store five weeks prior. Neither seemed likely since I’ve never seen a rogue dwarf hamster and the typical gestation period is twenty-one days according to the internet. But it was certainly more likely than a virgin birth, because God doesn’t exist and even if s/he did, why hamsters?

Read the rest at Bird’s Thumb.

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