As Hannah dressed to sing at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, she found a small animal hiding in one of her performance shoes. She showed it to her chaperon, who (not recognizing what kind of animal it was) assumed it was Hannah’s pet from home.
“What’s its name?” she asked.
Hannah, not quite understanding why her chaperon asked her its name, said, “I guess I’ll call him Mr. Wuggles.”
“What do you feed him?”
Hannah, even more confused and relying on her Disney rodent knowledge, said, “Maybe breadcrumbs and water?”
Bread, water and a small towel were procured for his overnight health and comfort. After their performance and The Three Musketeers, the girls returned to their hotel room and played with Mr. Wuggles until it was time for lights out.
Saturday morning during breakfast, Hannah and her chaperon came to our table.
“I just want you to know that we found Hannah’s pet in her bag and we’re taking very good care of him,” Mrs. Chaperon explained to me.
“What?” I asked, trying not to choke on my yogurt.
“Mr. Wuggles decided to ride to Montgomery with Hannah. I just wanted you to know.”
“But Hannah doesn’t have a pet named Mr. Wuggles,” I said turning a suspicious eye to my daughter.
“No, it’s not my pet. Look,” Hannah said and began to open her bag.
“NO!” I put my hands down over the zipper. “Whatever is in there we don’t want to get it out or loose where people are eating.”
I carried the bag outside and asked Hannah to show the animal to me.
She unzipped the bag, carefully removed her right shoe, and angled it so that the animal tumbled down to the heel.
Hannah took it out. All of her little girlfriends, who had heard all about the tiny animal, oohed and ahhhed at the cuteness and wanted to hold it. Hannah passed it off to a friend just as I said, “Hannah, that’s a dead mole!”
SMACK, the little thing hit the sidewalk.
All the children were sent to wash their hands.
We finally determined that Hannah’s cat, whose hobby it is to dig up and chase the little moles in our yard, put one in Hannah’s bag Friday afternoon as we were loading the van. The chaperon didn’t recognize the animal and assumed it must be Hannah’s pet baby gerbil. Nevermind the fact that gerbils and tiny garden moles look nothing alike. Hannah, delighted with the prospect of having another pet, went along with the idea, named it Mr. Wuggles, and played with it until it died.