I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Samson, I’m a golden hamster. That doesn’t mean I’m made out of gold or anything. I’m just… yellowish. I guess golden hamster is a better selling point then yellowish hamster.
Anyway, I woke up on my back in the dirt. I remember looking up past the tall green grass and seeing these little fluffy white clouds floating in the blue sky. One looked like a pile of fluffy white sunflower seeds. I blinked and coughed. Then my life became filled with grief.
“Whoa ho ho! That was muy excelente, my friend!”
I sat up, rubbing my head, and looked down at the tiny black-gray roly-poly whose voice was too loud to make sense.
“Where am I?”
“Joo’re right where joo landed, amigo. Joo were doing all these loco fleeps in dee air. Eet was awesome… uh, until joo wiped out.”
I looked around, still rubbing my head. I was in nature. Suddenly, I realized what was happening and I freaked out.
“Oh no… oh! What am I going to do? I’m hungry! Wait, I need water! Where’s the bottle?! Oh! There’s dirt everywhere and grass! What is that, a leaf?! I can’t do this.” With that, I collapsed on the ground. After a few moments, the roly-poly slowly walked into view.
“Yo… What are joo doing?” He said, looking around.
“I’m waiting to die. I can’t survive out here.”
“Pfft! Man, joo are hilarious! My name is Rollo.”
“That’s what I said, except joo spelled eet wrong, amigo.”
“Oh. I’m Samson.”
“Ahh! I’m yust messin’ wit’ joo. Come on, Hammy, let’s go.”
Looking back, I really should have laid there and died, but I wasn’t thinking clearly. The tiny insect, or whatever those things are, started walking away and I followed him. Again, I’d like to stress, not one of my better ideas.
The air was oddly refreshing. All around there was cool grass, which didn’t seem so bad after a while. Birds were singing overhead and there was this sound like, “blob blob blob”, or maybe, “fsshblushh”. Anyway, I found out later that it was a stream. We walked out of the grass into the open and there in front of us was water just flowing over the ground. As I was taking in the scene, a loud rude voice cut through the air like a rusty exercise wheel.
“Hey buddy, I’m walkin’ here!” I looked all around and finally found who was making all the racket. It was a slimy snail about a foot away. I looked around and then pointed at myself. “Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, you maniac! Get out of the way before I run you over!” I wasn’t sure if he was actually moving, but I took a big step forward anyway. “Maybe next time I won’t swerve, punk!”
“That’s Old Man Simmons”, whispered Rollo, “he’s always grumpy.”
“I see. Where are we going by the way?”
“We are going to see mama.”
“Oh, your mom?”
“No, not mamá. Mama. She’s kinda like dee leader of dee forest. She can help joo.”
“She can help me get home?!”
“Maybe. She knows, like, everything, amigo”, he said shrugging. That was about the time I stepped in Old Man Simmons slime trail.
“Ha ha! Serves you right, punk!”
I hurried over to the stream and tried to wash Old Man Simmons off the bottom of my foot. That’s when I realized, how beautiful the stream really was. Sunlight sparkled, and dappled shadows danced across the surface of the water cast by a big oak tree. Suddenly, Rollo came flying past my head rolled into a ball. He bounced off of a rock, sprung from a leaf like a diving board, bounced off of another rock, skipped on the water twice, did a flip, and landed on his feet on the opposite bank.
“Wow, Rollo, that was amazing!” Now I was determined to do something just as amazing. So I took one step forward, slipped, and fell in the water. After a lot of flailing, coughing, semi – drowning, and family disgrace, I pulled myself up the other bank. Rollo was waiting with several hands outstretched to help me out of the water.
“Man, joo start out good, but joo really need to work on joor landing.”
My hair was dripping and slicked down so that I looked like a scrawny rat. Not one of my better moments. And to top it all off I managed to step in Old Man Simmons’ early morning slime trail. I could hear him laughing in the distance. I scrubbed my foot on the ground and tried to shake some of the water off. “I hate nature.” At that moment, the biggest, ugliest, fattest, meanest looking toad hopped out from the grass and blocked our way.
“Who goes there?” He said in a deep bass croak.
“Hey, cool eet King. Eet’s yust me and my new amigo. We need to go see Mama.”
“No one crosses my river without paying the toll! Bring me flies, all the flies!”
“Alright, amigo, yust cheell out. C’mon, Sammy.” With that, Rollo and I walked back towards the stream.
“Where are we going to find a bunch of flies?”
“We’re not. We’re yust going to go around.”
“Oh… I think he can hear you.” As I looked back I could see the toad drop his head slightly and then start to walk back towards the grass.”Hang on a second Rollo. Stay right there.” I jogged back over towards the toad. “Hey, King, or whatever. What’s wrong?”
The big toad sighed without turning around and said, “It’s nothing. Just go around like everyone else does. Just ignore me.”
I looked around for a moment and finally found what I was looking for. Last night’s “dinner” covered in flies. Walking back down to the stream I grabbed two small round stones and, taking aim, I threw one, knocking out one of the flies and then I threw the other. It skipped off the one fly and struck another knocking both clear out on the ground. Gathering up the flies, I brought them back to the big fat toad.
“Here you go King, all the flies.” His eyes grew wide and his tongue flicked out, grabbing up all three flies and swallowing them in one bite. He closed his eyes and grinned, making a long yummy sound.
“Thank you, strange looking mouse. No one has ever given me such respect. For that, you have earned my respect.” Rearing back on his hind legs, he fell forward throwing his arms around me. Then he started to cry. “Thank you, thank you, strange mouse. Thank you.”
Slowly I raised one hand and put it on his fat bumpy side. “Uh, don’t mention it.” I looked over at Rollo and jerked my head to the side trying to get him to help me.
“Alright, King, enough of dee mushy stuff. We got to get going, amigo.”
“Yes, yes, of course.” The toad dropped back down to all fours and stepped back. Regaining his composure, he spoke. “Thank you, strange mouse. You have earned The River King’s honor and respect. We are forever brothers. Go in peace.”
“Thanks, King. And you can call me Samson.” The big toad stepped aside and allowed Rollo and I to go through.
“That was weird. Joo’re a weird guy”, said Rollo after we were out of earshot. I just smiled as we continued on into the broad meadow.
© Tyler M Deal. All Rights Reserved.