• At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig. At first, I’d thought the teacher was raising snack food, which impressed me, being the first sign of intelligence she’d shown. Soon, though, I’d figured out the animals’ true purpose and left them alone, though I would never understand the appeal of petting and coddling perfectly good food.