Antithesis (an-tith’-e-sis): Juxtaposition of contrasting words or ideas (often, although not always, in parallel structure).

Life’s polarities are the sources of our most significant vexations. Our anxieties and our hopes reside at opposite ends of all spectrums. Life is thwarting death. Death is thwarting life. Hope is thwarting fear. Fear is thwarting hope. We are like light switches flipping On and Off. But little Hammy had his wheel— a treadwheel with infinite shades of ‘going’ between starting and stopping, stillness and motion. But Hammy has stopped forever. No more running through his pet pipe plastic tube or rolling in his cedar shavings and grunting, or, seeming to dance to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I tried teaching Hammy to Moon Walk, but he peed on my hand, squirmed loose and hid behind his water bottle. However, one morning I got up at 6:00 a.m. to water the lawn. When I walked past Hammy’s room he was moon walking in his cage—with no music! I was mad and glad at the same time. I opened the cage door to pick him up and pet him and give him a hamster treat, but he jumped out of the door and disappeared. That night, I heard scratching behind the wall, over my bed behind the Crucifix my grandma hung there when I was bedridden with measles. How could I rescue him? I would make a hole in the wall behind the Crucifix, dangle a hamster treat down the hole on a piece of string and catch him like a fish. The Crucifix would hide the hole, and all would be well. I got the electric drill from the garage and attached the two-inch bit with saw teeth I used to install a door knob for my dad. I cranked up the drill and pushed it into the wall. I pulled the drill out of the wall, and there was Hammy stuck on the drill bit, spinning around and around, and twitching. It was like he was trapped on the Grim Reaper’s hamster wheel.

Even though I killed him, he was a good friend. The sun rises and the sun sets. Hammy’s sun has set. He will be buried in a zip lock bag with holes punched in it so the gases from his decaying body will easily escape and he will rest in peace. I guess I should cancel my lifetime subscription to Hamster Aficionado and shut down my internet feed to Hamsters in the News. I’m leaving the hole in the wall as a memorial to Hammy’s short life and his hamster grit and determination to be a special hamster—to moonwalk along the starry vaults of heaven to “slip the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”

Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (

There are paperback and Kindle editions of The Daily Trope available on Amazon under the title of The Book of Tropes.

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