I’m back at home after staying with the Smiths. I’ve finished doing some speed work around the living room and am relaxing on the sofa. It is great to be back. Chelsea comes in. She makes a cup of coffee and sits on the sofa beside me.
“Who’s been a naughty little boy then? Who’s been a naughty little hamster?”
She tickles me under the chin.
“Who’s going to be a daddy then? Who’s a clever little hamster?”
Stuff like that. I get the message. Who’s the daddy? Harry is the daddy, or soon going to be the daddy. Chelsea finds it very funny. I go back to my cage and kind of forget about it. If a hunnie bunnie can’t keep her cage door closed what do you expect?
A while later I am out on the balcony with Big Cheese. We sit together and look out over London.
“Great sunset,” says Cheese. The sky is all red and orange.
“Yeah, looks great.”
“So the big day is getting closer.”
“What big day?”
“Harry becomes a daddy day.” I’m not that interested.
“Whatever, if you leave the cage door open things will happen.”
Cheese says nothing and just sits there quietly for a while.
“This is going to be the beginning, Harry.”
“The beginning of what?”
“The beginning of everything.” Cheese walks back into his flat.
I’m sitting on the sofa watching TV. What had happened over the past few days had been unbelievable. Now we are waiting for The News. I’m really excited and so is Chelsea. It has only been a few hours since they’ve been here. TV people, cameras, lights, action. So how do you feel about this Chelsea? Are you ever going to let him out of his cage again?
A great day. I posed for my first pro shots. Just as well as I was in peak condition. I hadn’t slackened off my wheel work and I was glad of that now. I was getting in plenty of other speed and stamina work as well. If there was a Crufts for hamsters I would have been in there competing with the best. Chelsea tidied up my coat before the shoot but I didn’t need a lot of work. Harry comes camera ready. There are very few hamsters who can look in the mirror and say “perfect” and I guess I’m lucky to be one of those.
I can’t wait to see how the shoot turns out. I thought the TV guys had done a great job. Of course they didn’t know then that they were working with a real pro, a natural. It is getting towards the end of The News. Stacey James is reading it.
“In London today there were major disturbances for the third day running. Protestors against the Genetically Modified Food Act, which is due to be voted on next week in the House of Commons, clashed with police for the third time in the so-called Food Riots. Police sources say that about a hundred arrests were made.”
Shots of the riots. Guys throwing stuff at the cops. The cops charging the throwers. The usual kind of thing. Stacey goes on about it for a while. I’m bored now. Get to the good bit. By the time I’m on everybody is going to be in a bad mood. What kind of audience warm-up is this? The story goes on forever.
“Shoot the bloody buggers,” says Mr Smith.
“Prison’s too good for them,” said Mrs Smith. “It’s like a holiday camp. Telly, snooker, everything. And much does that cost the taxpayer?”
Eventually the boring stuff finishes and Stacey relaxes and gives a big smile. Great work Stace. That big smile says everything is going to be ok in spite of the riots and all the other bad stuff earlier in the programme. No matter how bad things seem you can still have a laugh. It is having a laugh that gets you through.
It is me on. At last.
“And now, a story of a record breaking hamster. A hamster from east London has fathered a record litter of little hamsters.
“What do you call little hamsters?” Stace says to Bob the other presenter.
Shot of the baby hamsters that had just been born. All of them together. Lovely kids. Shot of the hunnie bunnie mama Henrietta. She looks knackered. Then the first shot of me. I am posing in my cage. I do a little wheelwork like I am finishing a session. Then I walk over to the open cage door and pose some more. We got some great shots at the cage door.
“That’s great Harry,” the director said, “hold the pose right there: don’t be afraid of the camera.” Me, afraid of the camera? As I’ve said, no hamster in the history of the world has ever come so camera ready as Harry. I’ve always loved the camera and the camera has always loved me. Now it is like I am getting my just reward for all the hard work I’ve put in, all the training.
Everyone goes wild when the shots of me come on. The place goes literally crazy. Everybody cheers. There is even a shot of me as the big music ends The News. I got to love that big music. In the end it got to be like Harry’s Theme. There wasn’t a story every day or even every week. But when I was most famous I was on most weeks.
After The News the phones start to ring. And they never stop. Harry has arrived, big time. And when Harry says big time, Harry means big time.