Archived Articles : Sleeping Ferrets

Tears of joy  

It was a typical December day in the summer of 97. A hint of smoke was in the warm Easterly breeze indicating that a hot day was in store. We had put the frozen water bottle in the ferrets’ cage quite early, but by lunchtime it had just about defrosted. Luckily it was bath day for the little rascals, which they love to have, especially when its hot. “Drea” was the first to awaken from her slumber, “Mergy” was next and then “Bubba”. Once bathed they all get to have a play inside, where their fuzzy little bodies come back to life as they ‘ping’ all over the place. Anyway, I thought I would leave them inside until dinner time as there was no sea breeze and it was still very hot outside. The four ferrets had played themselves out and were all asleep in the plastic shopping bag in which they all love to play.  

Dinner time arrived. Normally they would smell food and awaken from their coma-like sleep before we managed to get the food to them. Not on this day. They were just so tired that they didn’t wake up until dinner was right there in front of them; well three of them did. “Mergy, Bubba and Hercules” had started their nightly feeding frenzy while little “Drea” was still sleeping. You have to understand something you see; “Drea” is the lightest sleeper of all our ferrets, so this was very unusual for her, hence our cause for panic. My Wife had picked “Drea” up in her arms, where she lay lifelessly. I was in the kitchen when Tracey’s distressed voice yelled out to me. I ran out to see Tracey’s eyes full of tears as she held the little limp body of our much loved “Drea” . Tracey held out her hands and said “theres something wrong! She won’t wake up!” I was speechless. I remember thinking “this can’t be happening; she was alive and well a few hours ago”. I guess I thought she was dead. I held her still to see if she was breathing, but I couldn’t tell if she was or not due to the tears streaming down my face. I held her upside down by her tail but there was still no sign of life. I lay her in my arms when suddenly she “spasmed” and woke up, blinking at us as if to say ZZZ “what sup Mum and Dad?” She had just been in a VERY heavy sleep.  

The tears of joy ran freely that night, the night of Boxing Day 1997, that we will remember forever.  


First Published in Issue 80 of Ferreting Around (January / February 1998)