The Misses Nine burst out of school in a great state of excitement at the start of the year. Their friend’s guinea pig had babies and they were very cute and they needed homes and please, mum, please.
“Ask your father,” I said.
Their father likes to think that he’s firm and fair and loving with the girls. Mmmm…. whatever. He said yes.
Miss Nine the younger had fallen in love with one wee pig, called Dot, so we agreed that she could have Dot, and Miss Nine the elder could have one of the same sex – we don’t want to have proliferating guinea pigs. So a week or two later, home they came.
They’re small and brown and very cute. Dot has numerous cowlicks, and a small white dot on her nose. Tim has smoother fur, and she has a white “T” on her face. Yes, that name is challenging, genderwise, but we’re getting used to it.
The guinea piglets themselves are fun, but what I am enjoying most is seeing my little girls take responsibility for them. The girls are very conscientious about cleaning out their hutch, and feeding them. Every morning before school they pick a big handful of grass, and check that the piglets have enough water. In the evening they refresh the piglets’ hay, and give them some more food pellets, and chop up some fresh vegies for them. We’ve found that they like broccoli stalks, but not broccoli heads, that they’re not so fond of brussels sprouts, but they love apples and carrots. A couple of times a week, the girls clean the hutch out thoroughly, and replace all the bedding and hay.
But even better, they are actively concerned with the little creatures. They worry about their comfort, and cuddle them close, and speak lovingly to them. My girls have always had a fair amount of concern for other people and other creatures, but they seem to be learning how to translate that concern into positive action, thinking about what the piglets might need, and working out how to meet that need. And they have something small and cute and furry to love.
Dot and Tim send a snuffle and a squeak to Cardamom and Pepper.