Way back when, I was allowed to take the school guinea pig home for the summer hols. When Augustus Guinea (Gussie) had to go back at the beginning of the Autumn term I was bereft. A plot was hatched between my aunt and my mother and Gertrude arrived on the scene on the 1st September. ‘Gerty Guinea’ was a legend in her own munchtime. Apart from the fact she made it to ripe old age of six, (average lifespan three to five), she had two litters, one of five and the other of only one, the ‘Peeg Dynasty’ had begun!
She put up with a lot that ‘Peeg’. Regularly taken for walks in my dolls pram (more than happy snuggled under the mini duvet with a large carrot), she was the star attraction during my talk on ‘care of your guinea pig’, and became the best of friends with our Persian cat Gabby. Gertrude soon learnt that there was grass and other goodies to be had at the top of the five stone steps leading up to our tiny narrow walled back garden. Despite the fact each step was twice her height she launched herself at them and lept up each one in spectacular fashion. Gabby used to stand guard and ward off the other local felines while ‘her ladyship’ munched away at the grass like a mini Gatling gun or gracefully reached up giraffe-like to eat the fluorescent green leaves of our Japanese acer, a particular culinary favourite of hers.
Since then there has been a pretty much unbroken succession of Peegs with peak numbers hitting fourteen at one time. That was the fault of a dear departed flying colleague of mine. (It is quite astonishing how many commercial pilots own Peegs). Every time we flew together, “You’ve only got two Peegs, you NEEEEEEED MORE!” was subliminally whispered into my headphones whilst in the cruise somewhere overhead the Alps. “I’ve two girls you could add to your herd”. This drip feed campaign went on for weeks and eventually I went to see them. When it comes to Peegs, well I’m a cylindrical container with a big fat handle otherwise known as a ‘mug’. His parting shot as I loaded the girls into the car was, “There is a tiny possibility that one or both might be pregnant”. Well, no prizes for guessing what happened next! One had six, the other had four. I went from my capsule collection of two Peegs to a colony of fourteen!
Today there are only two and that is just fine by me. Treacle & Smudge (Treacle is the one resembling a loo brush). They are great company but woe betitde me if I dane to make my own breakfast before attending to the ‘girls’! I give you ‘Da Peegs’!