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Terrence

The talking hamster with tiny toes, a big heart and an annoying habit.

By Call Me LesPublished about a year ago Updated about a year ago 5 min read
Top Story - March 2023
37
Author's photo

Terrence was average even by hamster standards. He was not particularly good at stuffing baby carrots into his mouth whole nor could he squeeze into a toilet paper tube — these being the two tricks most often enjoyed by children who own hamsters.

Unfortunately, he also had a rather annoying habit of repeating things he'd heard.

High-strung mothers found this repetitive tic to be especially annoying. In fact, it is precisely why Terrence was set loose in a farmer’s field one Monday in May.

"Goodbye!" she yelled.

"Goodbye!" repeated Terrence.

If there was one talent Terrence had in spades it was his optimism. Despite the ominous caw of a circling crow, he forged ahead, heart brimming with enthusiasm.

“Well now, it is fine weather. Warm sun, toasty soil under my toes, greenapple grass as far as the eye can see. Erm - come to think of it, that’s all I can see.”

Terrence stepped as firmly as he could, but the blades of grass refused to bend low under his miniscule body weight. Still, it was enough to spy a willow tree a few feet ahead with the most splendid beehive anyone could imagine. Paper soft and swirled like an upside down icecream cone, the buzzing noise of the bees inside hard at work filled the air.

Buzz, buzzz,” Terrance chimed in, “My, my, that honey smells delicious. I am so hungry. Would you spare me a small sip? Buzz, buzz?"

The nearest group of bees feasting on clover glared at Terrence.

“Why are you buzzing? You are not a bee! No, there is no food for you here.”

Poor Terrence hung his head. “I understand, buzz buzz,” he bumbled and continued shuffling along.

With no destination in mind, Terrence wandered aimlessly. At last he reached a barn where a mother swallow was feeding her young.

Pip pip pip!!” they trilled as she thrust bits of caterpillar into their gaping, lollypop mouths.

Pip, pip, pip!!” echoed Terrence.

The mother swallow squinted at him.

Terrence cleared his throat, determined to make a better first impression.

“Excuse me madam. What a lovely nest you have. It's so…so… branchy!”

The swallow did not smile.

“What do you want?”

“I was hoping you might let me rest in your nest. I’m terribly tired. Pip, pip, pip!

She scoffed.

“How dare you imitate my babies! Get lost!”

Terrence hung his head. His tiny hamster brain was not particularly good at problem solving. Twice he had tried to make friends. Twice he had been rejected.

Plus,

he was tired,

and hungry,

and had just plain had enough.

Terrence threw himself into the dirt in tears.

“I’m dooooomed!” he wailed.

A kindly butterfly took pity on him.

“There, there now. See that wheelbarrow track? It leads to a garden. Perhaps you might find something to eat in the garden and a place to nap.”

Terrence’s nose twitched in excitement and his cheeks lifted into a wide, two-toothed grin.

In the garden? Something to eat in the garden! A place to sleep in the garden! In the garden! Gaaarden!

The monarch raised an eyebrow at Terrence before returning to her milkweed. What a strange creature, she thought. He better find a hideout before Georgia wakes up.

*

Terrence scurried along the wheelbarrow rut, dodging pebbles and leaping over twigs as he went until finally he stumbled headlong into a cabbage.

“OOF! Huzzah! I’m saved!!

The hungry hamster devoured a string bean and some sunmerpeas. Then he nibbled the cherry tomatoes, two blueberries, half a strawberry and thinking he had better watch his waistline (if he ever hoped to one day fit into a toilet paper tube) he ended his meal with a few sprigs of parsley.

Life seemed to be looking up.

Sadly, from behind the squash, the soft padding of paws approached.

Terrence didn’t hear them; he was too busy making a bed for himself out of dandelion fuzz.

“Gotcha!” Georgia the calico-cat announced as she pounced.

Gotcha!!!!!” yelped Terrence. “Gotcha! Gotcha! Gotttttchaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

The cat was so disturbed by the hamster’s mimicking cry that she spat him out. Back-talking food was a recipe for hairballs. Quick as she had pounced, she turned tail to search for a quieter meal.

Terrence didn’t understand he had been spared and continued screaming at the top of his lungs.

Gotchaa! Gotchaa! Gotchaaaaaaaa!!” whilst running around in circles, dodging in and out of vegetables as fast as he could patter until he lost his breath. The last thing he remembered before passing out was the soft, sticky touch of jam covered fingers.

“Oh my goodness! A hamster!” squealed a joyful little girl named Lily.

Darkness surrounded Terrence, and when he awoke, he discovered he had been tucked into a doll’s crib. Next to him was half an arrowroot cracker and a bottlecap lid full of water.

Am I in heaven? He wondered.

The sticky hand stroked his tummy.

Terrence took a deep breath and decided it was best to be honest from the get-go this time around.

“I’m afraid I’m not very good at eating baby carrots whole or fitting into toilet paper tubes.”

“I don’t mind,” answered Lily.

Really, really?” asked Terrence

Really, really," repeated Lily, “I promise to love you forever,” she added.

I promise to love you forever,” Terrence agreed.

*

And so ends the tale of Terrence, the talking hamster, who finally found himself in a conversation worth repeating.

P.S.

Cradles often make for strange bedfellows.

Dedicated to Rachel M. J.

HumorfamilyFable
37

About the Creator

Call Me Les

Aspiring etymologist and hopeless addict of children's fiction.

If I can't liberally overuse adverbs and alliteration, I'm out!

Instagram @writelesplaymore

Vocal Spotlight

~&~

She/Her

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  1. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  4. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

Add your insights

Comments (28)

Sign in to comment
  • lorenzo Lorenzo18 days ago

    I am a Terrance fan.

  • Mariann Carroll9 months ago

    Congratulations on Top Story , How did I miss this? 🥰Cute

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a year ago

    So cute!! Heart ❤️

  • Nikki Clamabout a year ago

    This story is heartwarming and delightful, filled with humor, kindness, and optimism. Terrence's perseverance and the butterfly's compassion are inspiring. Well done! 😊😊

  • Brenton Fabout a year ago

    Back talking food was a recipe for furballs! What a brilliant line, what a terrific tale!

  • Paul Stewartabout a year ago

    oh my! love this! agreat kid's story! loved Terrance and the little videos too! cute, funny, inventive! congrats on TS!

  • C. H. Richardabout a year ago

    That was such a sweet story and the videos were hilarious 😊 Well done! Congratulations on Top story too!

  • Holly Pheniabout a year ago

    Haha, this is excellent!

  • Matthew Bathamabout a year ago

    Very entertaining story.

  • Congratulations on your Top Story

  • Rachel M.Jabout a year ago

    LES I LOVE THIS SO MUCH, and thank you for the the lovely surprises right at the end. The dedication, and my favourite cat of all time (don't tell my own I said that)

  • Misty Raeabout a year ago

    Congratulations on the top story! I kinda love Terrance :)

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a year ago

    Yuppers, well deserved!!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    Congrats on the Top Story

  • Gerald Holmesabout a year ago

    Congrats on the Top Story Les. This is or should be a winner!

  • Dana Stewartabout a year ago

    Sweet story! Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!!

  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    Oh, this was such a sweet, simple story that was a joy to read! I loved the characters. And the video clips were such a wonderful added bonus. Really excellent work on this!!

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a year ago

    This needs to be a children's book So well done

  • Gerald Holmesabout a year ago

    I knew this challenge was right in your wheelhouse and I was waiting for this. I was not disappointed. This is wonderful. You knocked it out of the park.

  • Caroline Janeabout a year ago

    Terrence needs his own tiktok! 🤣🤣🤣 Love that hamster!

  • Donna Reneeabout a year ago

    Those VIDEOS hahaha Poor Terrance, I was feeling pretty bad for him for awhile. Thank goodness for Lily!

  • Cathy holmesabout a year ago

    aww. That was so cute. And that pic of Savannah at the end. Perfect. Well done, Les.

  • Quincy.Vabout a year ago

    Terrence the hamster is an endearing tale of a little creature's journey through rejection, hunger, and hope, as he discovers kindness and acceptance in the most unexpected places.

  • aly suhailabout a year ago

    Great reading, beautifully written.

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