Last week, we attended a home school gala day for Canterbury Home Educators and did some great curriculum shopping. I already felt it was an afternoon well-spent after buying several Horrible Science and Horrible Geography books from a lady named Colleen. Then, Charis pulled me over to one side and urgently whispered, “The lady we bought the books from is giving away guinea pigs for free.” I asked her to repeat her message – her voice was so low. “That lady you bought books from has guinea pigs to give away! For free!” she emphasized, in case I failed to get the meaning of “to give away”…
Well, as soon as I got down on my haunches to check out the little cage, Colleen drew the gorgeous critters out and we fell in love. (And so did a dozen other kids who promptly wanted them! Where’s my defensive line-up when I need them?)
Their names were Coffee Bean and Peanuts. Coffee Bean is black and tan with a very hip hairstyle (centre-parted and spiky – she can borrow my gel!) and Peanuts is a smooth, delightful ginger, smaller than Coffee Bean and my fave! After quickly checking with Charis if she was willing to take care of them, (Really, Mom, are we getting them??? squeal!!!), we said we’d take them…which was a sweet victory, considering there was one extremely aggressive teenager who barged in and demanded to have one!
Within the week, Colleen delivered the critters to our home complete with a hole-y cage , some food, and stakes, net, and pegs so the little ones can run around in their own little paddock. Thing is it’s so makeshift that today, they escaped from the pen and Charis frantically dashed into the house screaming, “They’ve ESCAPED! Come quickly!” Well, what a to-do that was!
Iain and I DASHED out of the house to rescue Peanuts, who was standing out in the huge lawn where predatory cats from the neighbourhood like to idly hang out sharpening their claws. We held our collective breath and prayed she wouldn’t move! There she stood, still as an explorer quietly observing the landscape of her newfound freedom.
We gingerly surrounded her, and Iain pounced and caught her up, whereupon she proceeded to squeal like a little piggywig. With relief we exhaled, only to hear Charis scream, OH NO! NOW THE OTHER ONE’S GOT OUT!!! I turned on my heel and sprinted (as swiftly as a mid-lifer who works out three times a week can sprint :)), trapping Coffee Bean between the devil and the deep blue (read the piece of plywood and the metal tray) and shooed her little bee-hind back into her safe wee paddock.
We felt mighty proud of our successful rescue operation! Enough excitement for the day! I think this guinea pig mommy deserves a latte!