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Overview: Ghost stories

Goldie the hamster

There was once a little boy called Timmy who lived with his father in a town in the far north of Germany.

Timmy had asked his father for a hamster for his 11th birthday. “Timmy!” his father had said to him sternly, “a pet is a very big responsibility. If I buy you a hamster, you will have to feed it every day, keep the cage clean and always treat it well. Do you promise me that you will do all of that?” “Yes, dad” answered Timmy, “I promise! I will always look after my hamster and will always love it.” “Good” said his dad “you are old enough and I trust you when you make a promise. I will buy you a hamster for your birthday.”

The big day finally arrived. Timmy was already so impatient and woke up very early. “Dad, dad! You have to get up and go to the pet shop with me.” “Man, Timmy” his dad grumbled sleepily “I want to stay in bed for a while longer. As soon as we have had breakfast, we’ll go to the pet shop.” Timmy’s face lit up with happiness: “Oh, dad. I want a really nice hamster. Can I choose it myself?” “But of course” said his dad. “Now let me sleep a little while longer.”

The two of them, or three of them, were back home from the pet shop before lunch: Timmy, his dad and a cute, black and brown tabby hamster.

Timmy was so happy. His dad helped him furnish the cage with a little house for the hamster and helped him attach the feeding equipment and the new wheel. The cage was ready for “Goldie”, the name with which Timmy had christened his new friend, to move in. “Thanks very much!” said Timmy to his dad as the two of them watched the little animal. “Goldie is the best present I have ever had.”

However, in the days to come Timmy realised that a hamster was not really the kind of pet he had expected. Goldie slept like a bear during the day when Timmy wanted to play with him. At night the hamster made so much noise running round and round in the wheel for hours. Timmy had also underestimated the work which a pet needs. He had to change the water every day, fill the food containers and remove the hamster droppings from the cage. Cleaning the cage got on Timmy’s nerves because the mess Goldie made really stank.

After just a few weeks, Timmy had lost interest in the animal and Goldie had become an annoyance. He half-heartedly cleaned the cage less and less often until he forgot about it all together.

As Timmy came back from school one day, his father met him with a serious look on his face. “Timmy, the hamster cage is totally filthy. Poor Goldie! Take a look at his water – it stinks. And he doesn’t have anything to eat.” Timmy interrupted his father’s rants and raves. “Hey, dad. I wanted to ask you something anyway.” “What then?” his dad wanted to know. “Can’t we give Goldie back to the pet shop? I don’t want to look after him anymore.” “No, that doesn’t come into question!” his dad growled. “You wanted to have a hamster and you promised to take care of him. You are going to keep your promise.” “But...” Timmy wanted to stick up for himself. “But nothing...”; his father corrected him. “Goldie is staying. Full stop! Now clean his cage otherwise there will be big trouble young man!” His father left the room.

“Stupid hamster!” Timmy wanted to get to work when Goldie came out of his house and look at him. “Stupid hamster!” repeated Timmy. “I can never play with you, you only ever do what you want and you poop all over the place.” Timmy was so angry with the little animal that he opened up the cage door, grabbed Goldie and threw him across the room. The hamster hit the ground hard and squeaked with pain. He pulled himself together and ran under Timmy’s bed. Timmy didn’t bother looking for him and started to clean the cage.

Once he had finished cleaning the cage, Timmy looked all over the room for Goldie to put him back in the cage but couldn’t find him anywhere. “Stupid hamster!” said Timmy once again. “He is probably hiding but I don’t care. Goldie can stay away forever.”

At that moment, his father came into the room and looked at the cleaned cage. “You see” he praised Timmy. “You have done that well. Where is the hamster?” “He is sleeping in his house like always” Timmy lied to him.

When Timmy went to bed that evening, Goldie was still nowhere to be seen. “No problem”, he thought “I’ll look for him tomorrow” and went to sleep.

Timmy was woken up by a loud scratching in the middle of the night and he opened his eyes. The full moon was shining into the window. Timmy moaned “stupid Goldie, can’t you even let me sleep at night just once?” and he turned his head to the side where the noise had come from.

“AAAAHHHHH!” Timmy screamed out loud. There was a massive, shaggy monster standing next to his bed looking at him with big, red glowing eyes. Timmy started to shake like a leaf and shouted out for help as loud as he could. But no one came to help him. Timmy held his breath and started to make a will in his thoughts because he was sure that the monster would rip him into a 1000 pieces at any second.

And: the beastie took a step towards Timmy, stood right next to his bed, leaned over him, held out one of its massive claws, grabbed Timmy by the collar, lifted him up and opened its terrible mouth... it growled at Timmy with a terrible dark voice “Timmy! Timmy! Why did you do that to me?” Timmy was sure that the beast would eat him up now. He gathered up all of his courage and stammered: “Who... are... you?” “You want to know who I am?” roared the monster. “Take a proper look and you will see who I am.” Timmy did not want to look at the awful beast because it was so ugly but he didn’t have any other choice. He opened his eyes and took a closer look at the monster. It had black and brown tabby fur, four massive paws, a stump tail and hamster cheeks in its face....Timmy suddenly realised who it was. “Goldie? Is that you?” “Yesssss”, growled the monster hamster. “I am Goldie and I am here to get my own back for everything you did to me!” The beast showed its teeth, opened its mouth and....

“Oh my God!” Timmy’s heart was beating like mad and he was gasping for air. He noticed that it was all a dreadful dream which he had just woken up from. “Phew!” Timmy drew a deep breath and switched the light on a big fright. Goldie was sitting on his bed on his back paws and was looking at him. However, Timmy was happy to see that it was the little, cute Goldie once again.

Timmy sat up, took the hamster in one hand and said to him “my goodness Goldie, never do anything like that again. You almost frightened me to death.”

“And you hurt me really badly!” growled Goldie. “Never do anything like that again otherwise I will come back on the next full moon and eat you up.”

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