Bestiary: Soup Hamsters
Soup hamsters should never be mistaken for hamster soup, a revolting concoction popular among the same breed of prison inmate given over to creating "wine" by fermenting ketchup and raisins in an old sock. Soup hamsters aren't food but rather small members of the Rodentia family whose natural habitat, through a fluke of evolution, is hot broth. Several different races of soup hamster are known to exist the world over, including a fire-breed found only in Korea which has developed an impressive resistance to flame as a result of living in kim chi jigae. Other known breeds include:
- Common American Household: These lazy, domestic rodents have developed a preference for canned condensed soups. Early generations tended to die young of heart attacks, but more recent specimens seem to have a higher tolerance for sodium.
- Bonito: A lean and extremely healthy breed that prefers miso.
- Manky: Prefers thick, foul-smelling recipes like potato-cabbage and split pea.
- Great White: Generally found in China, these hamsters have evolved a small dorsal fin as a survival mechanism to help cope with the abundance of shark's fin soup.
Soup hamsters avoid plain soup stock, as their natural form of sustenance is the ingredients of their host soup. Do not confuse soup hamsters for soup gerbils, their distant cousins who love to make soup but are incapable of swimming and will drown quickly in quantites as small as a half-cup of even the thickest potato soup.
Ranger Rick Fun Fact: Most soup hamsters are happy to live in chowders as well as soups. However, they tend to prefer Boston clam chowder over the Manhattan variety due to the tendency of the latter's tomato-based stock to stain their fur.