Alison brought round her guinea-pigs yesterday. She's put the hutch behind the settee in the living room. They're going away for a few days. The people who usually feed and water them can't so she asked me. I said I should just about be able to manage it. All I have to do is put food out of the bag she left into the bowl in the hutch and top up the water thing which is about as hard as making myself a cup of tea which I can do so it shouldn't be a problem. I say "her" guinea pigs but strictly speaking they belong to Joshua -her son and my grandson. He said he wanted them and just as you'd expect totally lost interest in them the day his daft mother caved in and bought them. All he actually did was choose their names - Rio (after Rio Ferdinand, who's a footballer) and Wayne (after Wayne Rooney, who's a footballer too). Never buy children pets. They live for years and years. You end up feeding them, cleaning them out, walking them, etc., etc. As soon as you get them the little buggers (the children that is) start to want something else. It wasn't like that when I was a kid. There was rationing then and any guinea pig you could lay your hands on would have ended up in the pot.
Talking of rationing, she said did I think I could manage to make my own sandwiches for a couple of days? I said yes. She's left me a lump of cheese, a sliced loaf and a bag of sliced onion.
Not sure the dog thinks much to the guinea pigs. He spent most of yesterday morning with his nose to the grill. Wayne and Rio spent most of the morning in their sleeping-box, in a ball of straw. This morning I tried to feed them. I got the grill open but couldn't close it in time. The guinea-pigs escaped. The dog started barking like mad and the guinea-pigs ran under the sideboard, making that funny little noise they make. I finally got the dog in the bedroom and shut the door. I thought I'd leave him there till the rodents had been rounded up. Not long after that little drama Dan the Man (from down the road - everybody calls him that) came round to show me the old carpet-sweeper he'd just picked up on the market. It cost him four quid he said. His hoover's broken down so as you can imagine he's over the moon.
He was very impressed by the guinea pig trap I'd invented. I'd taken a drawer from the sideboard and propped it up with a pencil. I'd put a saucer of food from Alison's bag under it. The idea was that the guinea pig would dislodge the pencil as it went for the food, bringing the drawer down on top of it. Dan said to call him if it didn't work and he'd come round with his airgun. I told him no I wouldn't as Alison was very attached to her guinea pigs. It crossed my mind that Joshua the little sod would probably have liked taking a pot shot at it as much as Dan. About teatime I heard a thud and sure enough one of the guinea pigs was trapped under the drawer. I'm not sure whether it was Rio or Wayne - Alison did tell me the difference but I've forgotten what it is.
The trouble, I discovered, was how could I lift up the drawer and grab the bloody animal before it ran off? I just managed it and now Rio (or Wayne) is back in the hutch and Wayne (or Rio) is still at large - that is if he didn't escape when Dan came in. I set the trap again but it was no good. Perhaps he watched as his mate got caught and has got more sense. I let the dog out to see if he could find the little bugger but he seemed to have lost interest. I'll just have to wait and see if Rio or Wayne (whichever his name is) gets hungry enough to come out from his hiding-place. And if he doesn't, does it matter? At the end of the day he might as well live in the living room as in the hutch until Alison gets back. The only trouble is I keep treading on those funny little sausage-shaped turds they leave lying around. I might have to get Dan to come round after all - with his carpet-sweeper.