To Amuse and Delight

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

baby guinea pig: welcome!

After the loss of two pigs this month our two remaining pigs have been uncharacteristically quiet. They barely pick at their food. This happened before when another pig in our pig pack passed away. The only thing that revived them was adding new life. What else can you do when faced with death? More life! A feisty ball of energy is needed to shake things up. 

Yesterday we brought her home. She is tiny, just three weeks old. My daughter named her Jenny, but that won't last. Upon their arrival they are always given girlie names like Penny, May, Molly, and Nellie. As their personalities emerge they end up being called things like Planet, Tuck, Baby Bug, Miss Nose, Pumperdinkle, and The Groke. Our new baby is a distant cousin (same breeder) to May, who we've had for two years.

 May took to baby Jenny immediately. She has became an instant mom. The baby dove underneath May's body, like she did with her own mom. If we take her away from May for too long she shrieks and her ears wiggle. May nipped at my daughter twice when she tried to pick up the baby. She was sad and shocked, because May is never snippy like that. I explained to her that May is not being mean, but when you become a mother you instantly change. Everything from then on is about protecting and caring for that baby. 

I reminded her of something that happened when she was around four years old. A mean looking wasp got into our house and landed on her arm while she was sitting at the table eating breakfast. She screamed. Without thinking I grabbed the wasp, (with my bare hand---eek!) threw it to the floor and stepped on it. There was no forethought, the protective instinct just kicked in. 

Our pigs always lay around the house in baskets or on towels. This habit started with our first, Penny. She trained the new ones as we got them to do the same. May is already training little Jenny. If Jenny tries to walk off the towel she nips her and herds her back. They've all been trained this way, by whichever pig is the oldest.

A couple of years ago my daughter made this felted hamster for a friend's birthday.

I can't help seeing the similarities between our new pig and the felted critter. The obvious is their size. The guinea pig has white under the mouth and neck too, along with the black ears and eyes.

The Aztecs believed that guinea pigs had healing powers. I don't know about that, but I do know that they have the power to make us happy on the gloomiest of days.

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