Today it is clear and sunny, and we finally put the hamster into the ground.
Friday, EG removed the little guy's body from the cage, wrapped it, and put it in a box on the porch. I realized, since the kids were going to be getting home before I was, I needed to tell them the hamster's body was removed, as they are good little Catholics and would have thought that "the stone has been rolled away and he arose!"
However, we had two days of rain of Biblical proportions, so the hamster was on the porch for a few days. My sister suggested that we put the hamster on a little funeral pyre, set him ablaze, and send his body down the stream which runs next to the house, much like what has been traditionally done on the Ganges river. I did entertain the thought for a moment--the amount of rain we had has caused the stream to have some exciting momentum, and I had a wonderful mental image of the blazing raft, complete with hamster, getting sucked into the culvert which runs under my neighbor's outbuilding. However, with my luck, the pyre would have caught on something beneath the floor, causing the barn to ignite and burst into flame itself.
I would have a hard time explaining that one.
So Alex is comfortably and safely buried in the front flower bed, deep enough to avoid being dug back up by the neighbor's cats, and later today we will cover him with a layer of mulch and some spring bulbs. We had a simple ceremony for Nita's sake; her simple elegy was, "You were a good hamster. See you in heaven." Alex would approve.