I am a social person by nature. So, the other day when our apartment complex got a new manager, I went to meet her and say hi. As I entered the office, I saw a familiar face. Jan was the one who had trained our previous manager. I smiled and she asked, “How is Alfalfa?”
“Oh,” I said, “Unfortunately he passed in June…” I let the words trail off. They were still bitter in my mouth.
“I’m so sorry,” she said quietly, “He was a cool guinea pig. I loved reading his blog.”
“I still have it,” I responded quickly, “I’ve got Fred and Lamont now. They are awesome and continuing the mischief of Alfalfa.” I smiled and added, “Oh, I can show you pictures…” I pulled out my phone and began showing her pictures of the boys. Jan smiled and cooed at the pictures as if I was sharing pictures of my children.
After one picture her smile faded. She asked, “Guinea pigs get along well with each other… right?”
“Yes,” I said, “It’s better to have them as at least a pair or more… why?”
Jan lost her smile and began to tell me a story about two guinea pigs. I nodded and absorbed what she said. However that night, my imagination ran wild. You see, one of my gifts is my imagination. It’s also one of the biggest curses sometimes. As I laid down to bed images of those two guinea pigs ran through my mind. It brought me to hysterics. I couldn’t close my eyes without running their story through my head.
After about ten minutes of hysterical crying, I had to get up and snuggle with Fred and Lamont to calm down. I promised them that I would love them forever, that I would always love them, and that I would always be their mom as I cried. Both boys talked sweet nothings into my collar bone. They knew I needed them. When I put them down, I was better. I eventually fell asleep. I had disturbing dreams of two guinea pigs I had never met, would never meet, and could never help save…
What follows is a recounting of the story that was told to me by Jan. For some reason my brain translated the story into the perspective of the two guinea pigs. I will warn you, this is a disturbing story. It is a product of a true situation, my imagination, and nightmare.
“The Story of George and Wilma”
George and Wilma, the guinea pigs, lived in townhouse 133. It was a nice place for them. Sometimes, it was a bit loud, a bit dirty, and a bit crazy. But they knew they had it good. There were the two large humans and the two small humans. And besides, they had each other.
“It’s a good life,” George said to Wilma as they ate their veggies.
“I don’t know,” Wilma said looking up from the food bowl. “There’s something going on,” she said between chews.
“What?” George asked.
“I don’t know…” Wilma said.
“Hey,” George remarked, “After dinner you want to run some zoomies?”
Wilma looked at George and smiled, “Sure,” she really didn’t want to run; she was pregnant and getting too big for herself. But she knew that George loved zoomies and that she loved George. So, she would hall herself around the cage the best she could for her love.
“Any new kicks?” George asked between bites.
“Yes,” Wilma said with a squeak, “I think it’s three…”
“Oh, good!” George said and popcorned with delight.
George and Wilma understood few words spoken by humans. They did know their names, food, water, and nice. However, beyond that the humans sounded like a buzz to them. George started to run around the cage to do some zoomies. Wilma followed and was lapped by George several times.
A large human approached the cage. “Buzz, buzz, buzz, Wilma, buzz, buzz, fat, buzz, buzz, pregnant…” was all Wilma heard. She stopped trying to run and plopped down. “Buzz, buzz, buzz,” went the human.
The other human began to angrily buzz at the first human. Wilma didn’t care. She felt George snuggle up next to her. She quickly began to fall asleep.
Wilma and George were woken up by a lot of commotion in the house that the humans were making. There were extra humans. Both of the guinea pigs stood at the bars in their cage to see what was going on in the house. Many of the humans were talking and it sounded like angry buzzing to George and Wilma. They were moving things in boxes out of the house.
“Oh, look,” George said to Wilma excitedly, “I think we are moving!”
“Yes,” Wilma said with exhaustion in her voice.
“You ok?” George turned and asked her.
“The babies will be here any day now,” she said and gave George a week smile.
“Ok,” George said, “You go lay down. You are going to need your strength. We are going to move with the human to the new house soon. I’ll bring you breakfast.”
“Ok,” Wilma sighed and headed back to the small hut she shared with George. As she drifted off to sleep she felt the small guinea pigs kicking in her stomach. ‘They are going to be a feisty bunch,’ she though as she drifted off. ‘Hope they come soon,’ was her last thought before drifting off.
George woke Wilma for breakfast. He was good on his word and brought her food into the hut. “Won’t be long now,” he said excitedly. “The house is almost empty,” he explained as Wilma ate.
George and Wilma woke to a still and silent house. As George exited the hut he saw that the human house was empty. To his delight there was lots of food out this morning for them. ‘Jackpot,’ he thought as he started to chow down on the extras that they were given. Wilma wandered out of the hut as George was eating. She noticed the empty human house as soon as she entered the main part of the cage.
“Woah,” she exclaimed and looked around. The human house was empty.
“Uf knoo,” George called, “Wook tat tall dis foo,” he said with a full mouth.
“Dear, don’t talk with your mouth full,” Wilma said snuggle next to him and dug in for a good breakfast.
After breakfast Wilma went into their hut and laid down for a nap. And hour later she was started awake by George wheeking. Too weak to get up from her pregnancy, she called, “What the matter?”
“Nothing,” George called back, “I saw some humans at the window looking in and I tried to get their attention.”
“Did you?” Wilma asked from her spot.
“Yeah,” he said excitedly, “They were tapping on the glass and talking sweet to me.”
Wilma finally managed to get up and lumber out of the hut, “Oh,” she said looking up to see no one in the window, “There’s no one there…”
“Yeah,” George said with a sigh, “they’ve gone.” Then he added, “But I’m sure they will be back. No human can resist me when in rumble strut around…” George started to purr and shake his butt as he walked around Wilma.
She giggled at him, “I know!” she declared. “Ouch,” she said suddenly.
“What’s wrong?” George asked with concern in his voice.
“It’s the babies,” Wilma sighed, “they feel the contractions too.”
“Wait!” George squeaked, “You’re in labor?”
“Yes,” Wilma said, “It started right after breakfast, “The babies should be here late tonight or early tomorrow. At that information, George began to run around their cage jumping and popcorning.
“This is going to be the best week of my life!” he declared as he ran past Wilma.
Wilma was not as enthusiastic as George. She got her bulk up and headed back to their hut. She needed a nap…
Part Two will continue next week…