This year the Gerbils have their very own Christmas tree, because that’s the sort of thing we do here.
Gerbils right, Christmas tree left, in case you were unsure.
They also have their own stockings. Labelled and everything.
I hope they appreciate the effort we’ve gone to to liven up their corner of the hall. And of course when I say we I mean I, because no one else in our house, or our street or perhaps even our city, would think to provide four small rodents with their very own Christmas entertainment. Meanies.
The humans here also have a tree and stockings. It’s not purely a gerbil-centred household. Just to be clear.
Human’s Christmas tree 2014
Those are of course hats, not stockings, which don’t appear until Christmas eve, despite what the gerbils think.
The bonus tree was a spontaneous buy, spotted whilst wandering through a local charity shop. There it was sitting in the window, all tiny and neat and with a £3 price tag. I thought it would be fun to set a mini tree up next to the gerbil tank, brightening up an otherwise dull, dusty corner of the hallway. And of course it might have the added benefit of drawing people’s eyes away from the layers of dust, piles of papers, books and general detritus that greets us all as we first step indoors (no photos of that you’ll be relieved to know).
The gerbils watched with interest as I fiddled around next to their glass home, moving tables and sorting out plugs and wiring and such. And then finally I turned on the tree lights.
There was a moment of stunned silence in the tank as the gerbils all stood transfixed by the giant multicoloured monstrosity towering over their home. They looked as if they’d been hypnotised by an evil magician and were awaiting their orders to… kill… Kill… KILL!
And then all hell broke loose. Tony, the gerbil voted most likely to panic, darted underneath their nesting box and started thumping. Apparently back leg thumping is gerbil language for; ‘Danger! Danger! Dart around in fear. Stare momentarily paralysed at the lights before running around in circles squeaking for a bit… then hide. Repeat until exhausted and then fall asleep on top of Steve.’
So that’s what they did.
Fortunately, now the tree’s been up a couple of days, the guys seem to be getting used to its menacing blue, red and silver lights, its terrifying miniature baubles and intimidating little gold stars. They have in fact more or less settled back down into their normal behaviours. Well, normal for gerbils anyway.
I think perhaps seeing their mini stockings hanging under the tree might have helped a bit. Even gerbils like surprise parcels left by Santa in the middle of the night. They’re not completely daft you know.
I think they will approve of their edible gerbilicious gifts and will spend a very happy new year chewing on carrot shaped maize treats to their heart’s content.
And they’ll miss the tree when it’s gone.
Tony panicking a wee bit.
You are under my spell…
(That little circle is stuck on the glass to stop the box room door handle from slamming back into it and cracking the tank. It’s not an eye patch that Steve’s wearing to cover up his pink eye)