FRED THE HAMSTER IN HAND
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!