The guinea pigs are getting the hang of personal freedom – especially Phoebe.
Twice this summer she’s escaped, and was fast, furious and determined not to be caught.
The first time Ben had taken them outside the front of the house to welcome some visitors, when Phoebe leaped out of his arms and scurried under the (thankfully stationary) car.
It took the four of us, plus a neighbourhood child to trap her in some undergrowth.
The second time Ben was returning the two piggies to the run so lovingly constructed by Mike, when Phoebe decided to reject this fine example of carpentry and make a run for it in the opposite direction – into some long grass edged with stinging nettles.
The four of us surrounded her, Mike grabbed her, and then we left her to recover from her ordeal, while Mike rubbed his stings.
At Easter, when they had their first taste of freedom, they kept close to their run and found the courage only to follow each other under deck chairs. This time, they’ve found a little earth cave shrouded in long grass that they dash to as soon as we let them out.
They make longer and longer forays out into the garden, tasting little titbits and sniffing the air appreciatively, and while Sandy’s main method of defence is to play dead, and is thus easy to re-capture for night-time incarceration, Phoebe is crafty and dashes from one hidey hole to another before I can grab her.
Last night I moaned to Mike,
“I can’t catch Phoebe.”
He replied helpfully,
“You will,” showing no signs of coming to help.
I did get her in the end, but not before threatening to leave her outside all night for the foxes.
She didn’t take any notice. In fact, the guinea pigs are becoming more and more like the children.
I’ll soon be complaining about their attitude, their under-the-breath complaints about having to wash their hands, and their reluctance to tidy their rooms…