What do you get when you mix a lonely, middle-aged, dominant, male gerbil [a.k.a. Sensei] with two younger, naive, skittish gerbilettes?
A homemade biology lesson, of course...
Scene 1: Ben is found hunched over the kitchen table-
Me: "Ben, what happened?! Is that blood?"
Ben: "Yeah, well, I kind of destroyed my hand. I can't believe I was so stupid!"
Me: "How bad is it?"
Ben: [peels back a blood-soaked tissue] "What happened is, well, I was cleaning out Sensei's aquarium, and for some reason, I stupidly leaned on it while I was reaching, and I knew it was glass and all, but I didn't think, and my hand just went right through it..."
Outside on the deck, the wicked shards of evidence glitter in the sunshine.
Scene 2: A few hours later, Ben's right mitt is swathed in gauze and antibiotic ointment. Sensei has already "marked" and, now, eaten through the grocery bag that was to be his temporary abode. Suitable temporary accommodations are few and far between...in fact, we seem to be fresh out of possibilities.
Against my better judgment, Sensei is quietly deposited into the Other Gerbil Aquarium; yes, that would be the Girls' Dorm, home to Sly and Desert, John's two little lady rodents.
Me: "Remember, Ben, this is vewy, vewy temporary...we're not getting into gerbil breeding around here."
Ben: "Right, right, I KNOW."
Scene 3: Never-before-heard high-pitched squeaks emanate from the newly coed gerbil aquarium in John's room.
Me: "Cecily, what is that noise?"
Miss Cee: [nonchalant]: "Oh, they're just having a little talking party in there, Mom."
Me: "Hmmm, well, that's funny, because I never heard that sound before when it was just the Girl gerbils, and everyone knows that girls talk all the time..."
Miss Cee: "Well, they must have more to say today."
Scene 4: John's head is seen leaning over the banister...
John: "Um, Ben? I think the gerbils are Doing Things."
Ben: "John, just leave them alone, I've already checked on them, and it's just fine..."
John: "I don't know..."
Ben: "John, it's FINE!"
Scene 5: I am innocently grading Cecily's grammar workbook pages.
Miss Cee: "Uh -oh."
Miss Cee: "Well, I better go get Ben. BENNNNNNNY!!!! You better come!!! Sensei and Sly are going to get married now!!! At least, I think they NEED to get married! Hurry up!!!"
Stay tuned, gentle readers...the coed gerbil dorm may soon be a nursery...and we'll be launching into Accelerated Biology class...