Thursday, 10 May 2007

Hamsters...A Brief History

Hamsters have been with us since the dawn of time, first as a feared predator of early man, then as a beast of burden, finally evolving into the domesticated pet and 'man's best friend' we know them as today.

The first notable hamster was HAMSTERNIUS, a fearsome beast that fought in the Circus Maximus. This brute of a hamster was responsible for the deaths of 312 Gladiators and the maiming of countless hundreds more. He was eventually granted his freedom and moved to the hills of Turkey where he had a small farm.

In later centuries many hamsters were indispensible as navigational aids. The Greeks and Egytians would never leave port without a correctly aligned hamster to show them the way. Used in conjunction with a theodolite the hamsters could navigate you safely through the roughest of seas.

Archeologists have uncovered ruins in the South American jungles covered in heiroglyphs of hamster gods. One such being was named Queztlehamztel and was worshipped for 200 years by tribes across the continent. Wars were fought in his name, thousands sacrificed to his greater glory on the torture-wheels, and the heiroglyphs also show the priests with their ceremonial pouches and swollen cheeks.

As we head closer to the modern day, hamsters fought bravely for the allied forces against the rampaging hordes of Germanic dogs and penguins in the Great War (1914-1918). Losses were so high in the King's Own Hamster Fusilliers that Canadian and New Zealand volunteer hamsters were brought in to bolster the ranks. We have much to remember on Hamster Commonwealth Day!

And in our modern world...let us not forget Hambert and Georgster...our most celebrated hamster aritsts. Currently showing a lifetime of work at the Tate Modern...including 'Slidey Tubes', 'Piles of Droppings', 'Shavings For A Bed' and the controversial is-it-art/is-it-porn 'My Wheely'.

So the hamster is a boon for our economy, a benefit to our arts, a muse for our creative types, a heckler to our politicians and a small furry thing to our kids...HOORAY FOR THE HAMSTER!

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