Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Wheel of Life

It's eight months since we rescued our hamsters from the snake. In retrospect it was odd that by the time I went to bed last Thursday night our male hamster wasn't furiously at work on his wheel, and I knew there was a problem when I got up the next morning to see that the food I'd dropped into the cage the night before had been left untouched. When I took the roof off his house there was no movement apart from his breathing, and even my stroking him for the first time failed to trigger a response. He died a few minutes later.

Korean tradition has it that when a family pet dies they take your troubles away with them from this life. In the last few months we've faced nothing but problems, so Korean Mother hopes this will herald in a period of better luck for us. I'm afraid we have no such tradition in my culture and to me it was just another bad thing to have to deal with.

We wondered afterwards about whether we would have taken him to a local vet had he lived a little longer, but the thinking is that Korean vets don't tend to take small animals like hamsters very seriously.

We buried him on one of the mountains overlooking the place where we live, which is a very Korean thing to do.

Korean tags: 죽음, 애완동물


daeguowl said...

I hope you'll be going back to do ancestral rites at the appropriate times :)

Mike said...

Groan. I think I've been emotionally scarred by those experiences...

Post a Comment