Need to go on a bus - hamsters go free!
Jordan Underwood, the 10-year-old owner of Nibbles the hamster, was very surprised when a bus driver asked him to pay an additional 10p on top of his own bus fare to take his hamster on a bus in Northampton. The boy was so upset that he complained to the bus company and the story got into the national newspapers.
The bus company took a few days to decide what to do and then acted as follows. The company not only apologised to the hamster and his owner for the extra charge and gave Jordan a free bus pass for a month but also gave the hamster his own life-time travel pass. The boy and hamster were then taken a tour around the town on one of the company's buses, which had a sign reading "The Hamster Special".
The bus company also issued special travel regulations for hamsters, which say:
"First, hamsters are encouraged to travel free of charge on any of our services, preferably accompanied by a fee-paying human."
"Second, young hamsters will be asked to give up their seat to an elderly or disabled hamster."
"Thirdly, we request that hamsters do not use mobile phones or Walkmans while travelling on our buses for the comfort and convenience of other hamsters."
Jordan was very pleased that the company acknowledged its mistake but thought that it was not enough to compensate the emotional damage that the conflict created for his hamster! He said: "I think they should do something more. They could buy him a bigger cage or a wheel."
© Mary Moor