We had a terrible geometry problem about a hamster named Fred. I'm praying I get extra credit for this.

Fred: The Tale of a Rabid Hamster

It was always a lonely time between Fred's sudden 'urges'. Not one soul would come to visit him in his wonderful, spacious roaming area of exactly 439.46 feet. Fred had done these calculations himself; an accomplishment he was quite proud of. In fact, Fred was actually a very bright hamster. He would sit and calculate the circumference of the moon, the bone density of his decomposing leftovers, and of course, the overall thickness of the 15-foot lead chain that now bound him to an equally thick, 25-foot pole.

Yes, Fred was a very bright, lonely animal. Were it not for his constant urges, he could have gone on to be the founder of a lovely little sub-species of 25 percent brown, 50 percent white, and 25 percent black freckled, black eyed hamsters. But every time he went to mingle with an occasional wild, white freckled female hamster –one passed about every 12.35 minute of every 12th hour of every fourth day—a sudden ticking sound would start in the back of his skull. It would then proceed to throb once every 0.5 seconds, bleep every 2.4 seconds, and yodel once every 4.7 half minutes.

This sudden seizure of the mind then led to what Fred had come to call 'caedo indigeo' urges, which, when translated out of the original Latin, is a simple 'need to kill'. By the time Fred realized his simultaneous lack of thought accompanying these urges, most of his little animal friends within a 35-yard radius had either disappeared, or had 34 percent less fur than they had started out with. Needless to say, his days of freedom were numbered. Soon the hand that fed him took him up by the neck and attached his little metal collar of doom, complete with a 0.3 cm master lock and 83-volt shock cells in case he gnawed through the chain. Unfortunately for Fred, it appeared his human master was as smart as he was. This 2007 state-of-the-art animal trainer would be his only friend for 100 percent of the rest of his life.

Soon the days began to wear on poor Fred. With nobody to initiate his urges, he found he had much more time to calculate—but he soon found out that he was very likely the 70th loneliest animal on the planet. Considering he had calculated in all 560,847 hermit crabs in coastline of the west Pacific Ocean, this was an extremely depressing number.

"Why will nobody come talk to me?" he continued to ask himself, as he sadly nibbled on the bones of an owl carcass. "I only want somebody to talk to." With so much data and no one to share it with, he was suffering a mathematician's nightmare. Day after day he sunk a tiny trail of footprints into the 1.3 billion year dirt, following the same zigzag path of 250.28 feet he had made since day one. One day, he decided he could not take it any more. He had to end his own life.

This sounded like an easy task to most. But to those familiar with hamster paws, it is simple to understand the dilemma. With paws the measly diameter of only 0.4 cm across, Fred could not hope to find butcher knife tiny enough to grasp. He would have to be much more creative than that. Soon he decided that the easiest way to go about this would be to poison himself with the lead that was used to bind him. So he did. For 3.7 hours he gnawed and gnawed at his chain, grinding his little buckteeth down by 0.5 cm in the process. Yet as he law on his back in exhaustion, panting at 2 mph, he could feel no change in his digestive track. It had not worked.

"Oh, poppycock!" he squeaked, flailing his little arms in the air. He would have to think of something else.

The next idea came quickly. 10 feet away from his pole was an extremely dense wooden fence, with a density of about 4.35 feet. Perhaps if he could ram himself into this pole at a velocity of an equal ratio, he could successfully put himself into a coma, and consequentially die peacefully in his dreams. So with all his energy, he did exactly that. He ran into this towering monster time after time until he was again on his back, this time panting at 3 mph. But again, he could feel no change in the overall fluctuations of his 5.5g brain.

By now, he was beginning to ponder the necessity of his continued schemes. He wondered if he would miss the 23,724 dead blades of grass crunching beneath his tiny paws, and the 2 dandelions that grew stubbornly right in the middle of his 439.46-foot territory, Theresa and Dandynickles. Who would prune their 34 dying leaves while he was gone? But the loneliness of his predicament again began to wear on him. He would try one last time. Using one of his 3 claws on his right hand, he began to prick into the electrical wiring of his 0.3 cm state-of-the-art lock in hopes to give himself a great enough jolt to finally end his misery. While the jolt did come, it was only with the intensity of a 46 day old used battery. Fred was again left on his back, twitching at the pace of once every 3.7 minutes.

All hope seemed lost. The world was conspiring against poor Fred. It had robbed him of all he wanted to live, but refused to give up its hold on him. But before long, a cool breeze shifted through the air. His little 0.2 cm nose sniffled in the peculiar comfort of its coolness, and he found himself relaxing on his back. Maybe this wasn't so bad after all. Everything was so wonderful in his little city of 1. He didn't need death.

His world shattered when he spotted a female hamster poke her nose into a crack approximately 11.4 feet away. Immediately, he felt his little paws twitch in a familiar sensation. His skull throbbed once every 0.5 seconds, bleeped every 2.4 seconds, and yodel once every 4.7 half minutes. The last thing he commented before his urge took hold was "Oh, bugger."

Before he could stop himself, he had leapt to his feet and begun to run towards the female at about 25 mph, making the loudest series of squeaks one could ever think possible. But when there was only 5.6-foot gap between him and his prey, a sudden roaring of about 11.2 decibels stopped his momentary insanity. In all his calculations, he had forgotten that 25 percent of his roaming area was right in front of an open garage. An enormous car bolted out of its midst at about 96 mph, immediately making unfortunate Fred a permanent part of its wheel.

Though his demise was almost immediate, Fred could not help but think in those few last moments that maybe he never needed to do those 2.7 years of calculating. After all, it didn't matter if this wheel had a diameter of 16.9 inches across, and that it would only take 3.5 revolutions to successfully crush all his organs. In the end, it was still a wheel, and he was still a dead hamster.