Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A brief history of the many and varied Bendio sister hamsters

Ted illustrations are done.  Yay!  I have few digital tweaks/kinks to work out and then figure out just who is going to print and bind it.  Yes, I (as it turns out) wisely decided it would be a really stupid, time-consuming, and anti-cost effective idea to print and bind the books myself.  Even though I have the ability to.  It would look cool, and handmade and bohemian and artsy.  But just not worth it.  Besides, it would look so much more legit if they're printed professionally.  And then I can market them farther.  And so with the Ted book nearly complete, I thought I'd give some Bendio sister hamster background.  So, here you are... the real story of the hamsters.

Ted was an actual honest to goodness real hamster.  My sister Meg at the tender age of oh, 14 ish (?) or so acquired a golden hamster by the name of Theodore.  I honestly don't remember many real details other than his love of chocolate, taffy and peanuts.  He was definitely Meg's pet.  But he was adored, and his many imagined adventures chronicled literarily by my thrice elder sister.  There are many.  I first illustrated one in which he pilots a bi-plane and finds dragon guarded treasure when I was in the 5th grade.  After his demise at a contented ripe old hamster age, he was replaced with Gloria, another golden hamster.  Apparently Gloria was a dull and boring replacement after the brass and adventuresome Ted, and Meg grew bored of her stench and bequeathed her and Ted's old cage to me.  I re-tamed her being the animal-phile that I was and she was replaced with many more hamsters that followed.  Gloria was followed by Flossie, a long haired, peach colored Teddy-bear hamster who was much more amusing.  Flossie would do tricks by hanging off of one side my hand and then climbing back up the opposite side.  She was cool like that.  She was then followed by Clyde, who became, hands down my very favorite.  He looked like a triple stack chocolate ice cream cone with vanilla in the middle and a chocolate drip running down his back.  Clyde was intelligent and so very tame.  He knew me, preferred me, and missed me when I was gone.  He loved me as much as his furry little heart could.  I would block escape routes out of my bedroom and let him run free as I would do my homework.  Sometimes he would fall asleep in my hands.  He would often be carted around in my tucked in tee-shirt (come on, of course my shirts were grossly tucked in, it was the 80's) or running up and down my long sleeved shirts.  He was far too polite to dream of biting or peeing on me.  When alas he too passed out of this world and was laid to rest under the cherry tree, I was heart broken.  He was meant to, but could not be replaced by a similar looking Poki, who cared not a whit for me, but was a well meaning if slightly daft and aloof hamster.  After Poki I moved onto frogs and snakes and newts and turtles.  But that is another story for another time that has more to do with the animals and story in my next book, in which I am both the author and illustrator of.  Or, you know, rather will be, eventually.  I'm going to go and get on that.