An original soft pastel painting on linen board by June Pauline Zent 24×30 inches.

He looks like he is praying, right? Not so at all he was just waiting for my daughter Holly to open her hand a bit then he would be gone like a deer over a fence. Fred was Holly’s pet. Most kids want a dog or a cat, Not Holly she had control issues: she wanted Fred the hamster because he was little, fuzzy, cute, and she could restrain him in her hand without worry regarding his human flesh biting tendencies. This was a kid that would run screaming like she was on fire if she saw a spider. Her younger sister had to hold her hand and guide her through the dark to the bathroom. Nighttime was just one more thing that she couldn’t get a grip on and control. Addie, the guide and adventurer called her the ultimately feminine sister. 

Unlike most kids Holly took her charge seriously and would come home from school every day to clean the cage and give Fred food and water. She talked to him like a baby and sat watching him for hours sometimes taking him out of the cage and carrying him about the house. Fred  sniffed the air, wriggled his nose and tolerated this jail time. Being off his wheel was not within his comfort zone.

He did escape Holly’s grip occasionally and would run under, over, around,and inside of everything . A olympian would have been proud to have those legs which had spent hours and hours running endlessly on his wheel. He was as slippery a brown eel too. You thought you had him and shoot!; there he goes again under the couch.

He was a personality to contend with and contributed many laughs not to mention exercise for the whole family. Notice that I have used the past tense here. Yes, Fred is dead. Holly woke up one morning and there he was stiff as a brown whisk broom, feet in the air , and glassy-eyed. She cried and cried then we gave him a proper funeral and burial in the front yard.

I offered to buy her another hamster but she said there would never be a hamster like Fred. So gathering my pictures of Holly and Fred I composed the painting above. There is nothing like art to keep a memory alive and remind us of the important events in life. Holly is a grown woman now, She is a Certified Public Accountant with many achievements to her name. But she still comes out to my house in the woods holding something over her head so that the evil spiders wont get her!


About artzent

I am a visual artist and teacher of Fine art working and teaching in all 2D media. You can see images of my work in many categories, view my biography,comment on artwork, see what's on the easel right now, and more when you go to I will be blogging here about personal true stories and sharing my life and work. I hope that you will comment and share yours with me!
This entry was posted in Original artwork by June Pauline Zent, True Stories About Artwork, Uncategorized, Wild and tame animal stories and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Manu Kurup says:

    Fred reminded me of Ngoo-Ngoo, my pet rabbit, who was my companion for two days and one night.
    🙂 The first time I got to take a look at the painting, I yelled S’s attention to it saying ‘Ngoo-Ngoo!’

  2. artzent says:

    Thank you stefan, I am glad that you like it! Thanks for the compliment!

  3. Val says:

    What a lovely post and painting! 🙂

  4. Sharon says:

    I liked the story of Fred the hamster, and of course the painting, as well. My granddaughter Maci has a hamster in her room, in a cage. 🙂

    • artzent says:

      Yes, My granddaughter Lily has one as well. Guess it runs in the family! Thank you Sharon !. Always great to see you here and I value your comments very much!

  5. Renard Moreau says:

    [ Smiles ] Fred, the hamster, is rather adorable.

  6. Hi!
    I have nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog Award”. Congratulations!

    Arlen Shahverdyan

    • artzent says:

      Thank you so much for this honor. So glad that you like my work that much and I totally enjoy yours. “smiles”
      I will add you to the others that I must give a special thanks your gift!

  7. This is AMAZING! Fred is such a handsome hammy and you have caught the eyes perfectly – hamster eyes are always big and so dark, its impressive seeing it! 😀 And he sounds a lot like me and my first hamster Ron – always running and he became my furry baby 😛 Excellent stuff

  8. Life and all things love says:

    Too cute!

  9. livesinstone says:

    I truly love your animal pictures. 🙂 Fred the hamster is great. I really like his eyes and the soft fur details and shadows. He’s so cute. Cute story too. 🙂

  10. That was a lovely story and it was so nice of you to paint a picture, so Fred could be forever remembered. Its amazing how these little critters can endear themselves into a child’s life.

  11. artzent says:

    Very glad that you liked the story Maggie. I think that i have painted pictures of all my kids pets and they sure do appreciate them. Those childhood memories are very important.

  12. Jessica says:

    What a nice tribute for a beloved pet! I’m sure Holly really appreciated Fred’s portrait. I know I would have if it had been me.

    • artzent says:

      Thank you Jessica. Yes she does enjoy a Limited Edition print. the original was sold many years ago. Now I never sale paintings with family or family pets. thank you for coming here and comenting. always welcome!

  13. artzent says:

    Oh, LB thank you so much for coming here and leaving that sweet comment. Your support is important to me!

  14. zeejewelry says:

    Wow, this reminded me when I was a kid and had a hamster. The expression on your hamsters face is unreal! What a cutie 🙂

  15. artzent says:

    Thank you for coming here and complimenting Fred. He Certainly was a cutie. I think that having a pet that you can hold is important as a child and hamsters are great with kids.

  16. johncoyote says:

    A very nice story. My daughter first pet was a hamster. Small and easy to take of. Thank you for sharing the story. I appreciate you stopping by and reading my story and poetry.

  17. artzent says:

    The pleasure is all mine John! I love your blog. Yes, a good first pet is a hamster; hours of fun and not much work. Thanks for you great comment!

  18. Pingback: Էվրիկա. նորույթ` հայկական բլոգոսֆերայում / Evrika! Innovation in Armenian Blogosphere | Առլեն Շահվերդյան. հեղինակային բլոգ-կայք

  19. nightlake says:

    such a beautiful painting. enjoyed going through many of your posts and touched by the post about your sister…

  20. artzent says:

    Thank you so much for your great comments and for your visits to my post. I will certainly check you blog out and will look forward to reading great post from you!

  21. Pingback: Archive of Comments | Առլեն Շահվերդյան. հեղինակային բլոգ-կայք

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