Throwback Thursday: Little Bitt’s Life

My mom was going through old things to take to a consignment sale when she came across one of my earliest-known journalistic works: a biography of my hamster. It’s a pretty short work: four pages of notebook paper stapled together. The first is a title page and the other three have short paragraphs of surprisingly legible handwriting.


The title page to “Little Bitt’s Life.”

I don’t know exactly how old I was when I wrote it. The story says I got the hamster for Christmas 1992, so I would have been 8, but I don’t know when the hamster died or when I decided to give an account for his time on earth.  I was home schooled at the time and I’m pretty sure it was not a part of my school work.

I write about getting him and naming him, about my brother also getting a hamster, about going to my grandmother’s house to spend the night, and about my sister finding Little Bitt near death in his cage. “We still don’t know how he deid, but he did,” I wrote before summing it up quite succinctly with “the End.”


Little Bitt the hamster

I do remember the hamster well. I loved that hamster. I used to put him on my shoulder and walk around the house with him. I remember begging my mom and dad for a hamster. I didn’t think they would get me one, but low and behold, on Christmas Day, here was this tiny baby hamster. I called him Little Bitt because of his size but I think it was also a reference to a popular cartoon of the time.


This is me (with pinkeye maybe?) holding one of my family’s hamsters, but not Little Bitt. I think this one belonged to my brother.

The story has pretty good spelling and grammar, considering a child wrote it. And it’s not much of a story, but it has a beginning, middle and and end. It’s fun to go through old personal artifacts like this and get a glimpse kid Lori. I like it that she was already writing even then.

**UPDATE: as requested, the following is the full text of Little Bitt’s Life.



Oh, the things you’ll (over) hear


On my days off, when I get sick of sitting around the apartment or doing chores, I like to take my laptop to a local coffee shop and write.
Most afternoons the coffee shop is quiet. While I try to mind my own business, sometimes I can’t help overhearing the conversations around me.
Here are a couple of the more entertaining ones:

1. The man with the genius baby. A proud father was talking about 14-month-old daughter who, according to him, was likely to be a young Mensa (the high IQ society) member soon, just like her daddy.
“I just got her an ‘HTML for babies’ book,” he said with a straight face.

2. The former lovers.
Oh man, was that awkward. And they were the only ones in the whole place who were actually taking. So we all got to hear their very private-type of conversation. He was dating someone new and it was clearly bothering her.
“Where did you meet her?” she asked.
“The transit mall,” he said.
“So, has she done more…sexually… Than me?”
3. The Mormon Bible study. Two youngish Mormon missionaries leading a group of teenagers in a study of the Bible and the Book of Mormon. This was amusing mostly because
a teenage girl asked a Bible study leader for a hug and he turned her down. I think it was a purity thing because he didn’t have the same reservations with the young men in the group. Perhaps she should have a side hug?

Out of commission

The bike is out of commission for a while. Last week I was riding it and the brakes started locking up. I didn’t realize that was the problem at the time though. I was in the middle of traffic when it became more and more difficult to pedal. I went from a nice cruising speed to barely crawling by, putting all of my leg strength in and not going far at all.

Finally I came to a dead stop, got off and pretended to know what I was looking for when I gave it a once-over. Making it worse, there was a man with face tattoos on the corner watching the whole time, giving me the what’s-this-girl’s-problem look. And I was wearing my helmet, so I already felt ridiculous. I pushed it the rest of the way home, mustering up what was left of my dignity and giving the face-tattoo man a nod and a “how’re you?” as I walked by.

I think it’s time to take the $20 bike in for a $30 tune-up.