Friday, July 19, 2013

The Guinea Pig Housing Development and The Critical Mom

In these turbulent political times, one thing I rely on for solace is the sight of my guinea pigs, Harry and Ginny, grazing in their outdoor cage or sniffing around their indoor palace--a three-story wooden carved piece of extraordinarily expensive piggy real estate.  If these pigs were living in Manhattan they'd be paying a rent equivalent to Donald Trump's. 
I like to watch them and imagine what goes through their little furry heads:

"Mmm, the grass feels nice on my feet."
"Grass pokes into my mouth and my teeth chew it.  Yum."
"Give me that dandelion leaf!"
"No, I want it all."
"Yes, dear."

After they eat, they nap for fifteen minutes.  Then eat for another fifteen.  Nap.  Eat.  Nap. Eat.  Nap. Eat. Nap. Eat.  You can clock them.  Fifteen minutes of sniffing and grazing; fifteen minutes of lying on their gorged little sides, panting. 

Then Harry gets ideas.  He chases Ginny, who squeals in the most forlorn, desperate, "I-am-a-battered-wife" way, and runs away from him until he stops chasing her.  Then she waits for him to chase her again, and runs up and down and all around so he can't catch her.  But eventually he does catch her.  Then he climbs on top of her and there's a noise from both of them like a buzz saw.

You would think there's a lot of piggy rights violation going on . . . I even thought of separating them . . . until I noticed that when Harry squeals and Ginny is definitely not interested (as opposed to the game of "Not tonight honey: I have a headache") she just swats him across the jaw and he looks mortified for a moment before going back to grazing.

So yes, Virginia!  There is such a thing as piggy foreplay.

I watch it in the garden when I am supposed to be doing the laundry, making a grilled cheese sandwich, or reading whatever it is I am teaching next semester.  It soothes me to see the two of them squeaking at each other  and crunching on their food.  They appear to me to live utterly peaceful lives, and from time to time I imagine that they are reincarnations of some relatives of mine.


  1. just made me laugh out loud. The Virginia-line did it.