The twins' class has a pet hamster Tinkerbell, and the teacher gives everyone the chance to take her home for the weekend. Jessica thinks the hamster looks like a rat and has no desire to get anywhere close to her, while Elizabeth thinks that she's adorable and can't wait for her turn. The teacher pulls Elizabeth's name out of a hat, and since she gets to take her home for a longer vacation, the teacher decides that Jessica should help.
Jessica really, really hates this hamster, so naturally Alice decides that they should share responsibilities all week long. This basically means that she keeps asking Jessica is she feed the hamster or whatever. Amy comes over to play with Tinkerbell and even Lila comes by for a visit, but Jessica still wants nothing to do with the hamster.
When it's finally her turn, she gives it some water and food, and then leaves to talk to Steven. He shows her a mousetrap that he made from an old shoebox and explains that he wants to use Tinkerbell as a test subject. She refuses and rushes back to their room just in time to find Elizabeth freaking out because the hamster is missing.
They search all over the house without any luck, and Jessica finally decides that they need to buy a replacement hamster. Elizabeth thinks it's like lying, but she agrees and they go to Alice. Alice agrees to buy them a new hamster as long as they tell the teacher the truth.
No one seems to notice the difference until Jessica bursts into tears and tells everyone what happened. Todd claims that she must have lost her because Elizabeth knows how to take care of animals, while Ellen screams when Charlie wonders if his cat ate Tinkerbell. They decide to name the new hamster Thumbelina and everyone kind of forgets what happened.
The twins are sharing a snack after school when Ned shows up. He was gone for like a week on business and missed everything. He finds a box of chewed crackers in the cabinet, and they realize that she's still alive. After a short search, Steven finds her in his mousetrap. Jessica finally holds the hamster and decides that she likes her after all, and the class gets two pet hamsters.
*Apparently, the twins have matching name bracelets, which is the only way that people can tell them apart when they dress alike.
*The ghostwriter did some research on this one. Not only does Elizabeth have her money neatly organized, but Jessica has a change purse with some jewelry inside and no money.
*Amy and Elizabeth put Tinkerbell in the bathtub with a bunch of doll furniture, which really doesn't sound that much fun to me. Jessica does however scream and claim that she can never play with that stuff again.
*The teacher actually gets a little misty eyed in front of the class when she learns they lost the hamster. Maybe it's the cynic in me, but that doesn't really seem professional.
*I don't agree with schools that make students do this. I think it should be a voluntary process, and if you don't want to take the hamster home, you don't have to. They sent out letters to the parents and let them decide if they wanted it or not.
*I actually did get stuck taking our class hamster home one weekend. Everyone who did it kept talking about how much fun it was, but even in like fourth grade, I thought it was lame. I remember putting it in the ball and letting it run around the floor, but it spent most of its weekend in the cage. We always had dogs when I was growing up, so playing with them was a lot more fun LOL.