The scenario is Cheese and me are on our way to collect the stash. He knows how to get there, big picture, I know exactly where the stash is. That was the deal. We are both quiet. Cheese seems tense. I know I’m tense. Big day. Finally picking up the stash. We are near a wood and it’s getting dark. I don’t like the dark. Cheese stops. This is the place he says. He asks me if I know the way from here. Yeah I know the way from here I say just follow this path into the woods. It is a path I remember, the path that leads to the stash. After a while Cheese says are you sure this is it and I say yeah I’m sure this is it. We pad on side by side. It is spooky. Hamsters and dark woods is not a good mix. There are all sorts in the woods. Foxes, badgers, owls. Even a hamster in peak condition is going to struggle against that kind of psycho. A cat is all right though as a cat can fight most things. Not a hamster though. I could really do with a junglefrenzy. The woods smell all earthy and it isn’t a good smell. I’m Harry the Hamster, an A-list celeb, not some animal running around the jungle. I belong in Club Magik not in the horrible smelly woods.
I remember the way to the stash just like we agreed. We’ll soon be at the stash. Cheese looks quite cool but I’m churning up inside like at The Night at Porky’s, like the first time I was on TV, like at the fox hunt. But this time it’s worse coz now I’ve got a plan I’ve gotta carry out. Cheese stops and I do too.
“Badger,” he whispers. I move real close to Cheese, so close I can feel his heart beating. It is beating very fast. For a minute we don’t move, we can hardly dare to breathe. Then Cheese says ok and we move on.
We’re at the place, the place where the stash is hidden. I recognise the tree. This is the place I say, the stash is here. I hope it is still here. No reason why not.
“So who can dig better, a hamster or a cat?” I say. I know the answer is a cat as this is part of the plan. Cheese doesn’t say anything and I point to the spot where the stash is. Cheese gets to work with his front paws. I’m standing behind him, just beyond the reach of a pounce. Cheese keeps digging away at the earth. Suddenly he stops and feels around carefully with his paws. Then he starts pushing something up through the earth. It is the stash. My throat is dry and my heart is hammering. Gotta hold it together. Now is the time, time to make my move.
“What is it Harry, a Schmouser?”
“Yeah, a Schmouser. I will use it.”
“Of course you will. I don’t doubt it. Never underestimate Harry.”
“I’m sorry Cheese, but I need the whole stash. Chuck it over here.”
“So what’s all this about, Harry? After everything we’ve been through. Come on Harry, let’s talk. Don’t do anything stupid.”
“Let’s talk? Ok let’s talk – let’s talk about the Corgi brothers and Bloodbath Henry. Let’s talk about Will the Pit.”
“I swear the dogs I know nothing about. Just an unfortunate turn of events. Bloodbath Henry, that’s different. That cat was a loose cannon. He never really bought into the programme. But you and me Harry, that’s something else. We go back a long way. Come on Harry, put the Schmouser down. You don’t want to do this.”
I had expected this. Jaw work. Mousecrap. I wasn’t buying it anymore. I had my own ideas now. I was directing the scenario.
“Throw the stash over here.”
“Sure thing Harry, if that’s what you want. No problem. Here it comes.”
Cheese put a paw under the stash and flicked it towards me. A little bag, so small, so valuable. It was almost within reach. My stash. But I can’t take my eyes off Cheese. It is very dark now and hamsters don’t see too well in the dark. Cats do. Keep the Schmouser pointing at him. He could pounce at any moment and that would be goodbye Harry. But I’m Harry the Hamster, no one gets Harry, Harry always comes out on top.
“So what are you going to do now, Harry? We’ve got a bit of a situation. You could pick up the stash and walk away. Go ahead, I’m not going to stop you. Take the stash and go. No hard feelings Harry.”
All I could see in front of me was a dark furry ball with sounds coming out of its mouth. But then there were the eyes. As it got darker they seemed to get brighter. So all I had to do was pick up the stash and walk away and Cheese was OK with that. I don’t think so.
The first slug hit him in the chest. He didn’t make a sound, just kind of fell back and lay on his side. The blood was pounding in my ears. What to do next, how to act out the rest of the scenario. Pick up the stash and run? Go over to see how Cheese is? What if Cheese got up? He still might be able to come after me. Gotta be sure. I carefully walked up to Cheese. He wasn’t moving. I put the second slug in his head then I grabbed the stash and headed back to the path. I know where I’m going I think. No, I’ve lost it and I’m just doing random running through grass and sticks, all that forest stuff. There are wild animals out here. Blundered off the path, gotta find it again, where is it yes here it is but is it left or right? Maybe I should look at the moon or something. I should have been a boy scout. Go right. Keep a good grip on the stash whatever don’t drop the stash. Path is dark, black. Keep going, all that fitness work paying off. Stamina and speed good. I’ll soon be out of the woods. Everything is going to be fine.
Then I heard it. I heard it before I saw it. Imagine your worst nightmare is coming true. There is the moon and the darkness then I hear this sound beside my right ear and it’s something big, something close and something moving fast. It’s coming after me all wings, beak, feathers. It’s the last thing I want to see – an owl. And this owl is in my face. Harry says it’s time to say your prayers. Owl vs hamster, not a good scenario for the hamster. Then suddenly I remember I’ve still got one slug left in the Schmouser. Twist onto my back, like an Olympic gymnast going for gold, bring the Schmouser around then – Wham! goodnight my beaky friend. I throw the empty Schmouser into the woods and keeping a tight grip on the stash I head for home.