(C) The Sunny Zoo 陽光動物園 2017
"Good morning you little cuties..... how are we today? You are looking bright and smiley, aren't you! Yes it's going to be a lovely sunny day, you would love that! Oh hello didn't see you there, little one, you must have arrived last night! Anyone want a drink?"
That's Mrs Keeper, our human employee. And no, she's not talking to her three kids, if that's what you're thinking. She's actually talking to her succulent PLANTS! Since we guinea pigs are out on the lawn so much, we see her talk to her succulents all the time. Frankly, it's a bit freaky. She wasn't like this when we hired her a few years ago!
Plants are for eating, yes? For us guinea pigs it's pretty straight forward. Maple leaves taste sweet, lemon tree leaves smell yummy, meadow hay helps grind down our teeth, and carrots are crunchy. And succulent plants? Well, they are juicy AND crunchy, that's why they're called succulents!
So it's really weird that Mrs Keeper collects so many different types of succulent plants - and I mean HUNDREDS - and refuses to let us eat them. It's not as if SHE ate them either, so from our perspective that's a total waste of valuable resources. She puts them on top of garden steps, wooden trolleys, even hangs them off the fence, just so we can't get at them.
Well, we're not going to be foiled by a little bit of height! As I always tell my children and grandchildren: "If you can't reach a leaf, stand up on your hind legs. If you still can't get it, come back tomorrow!" Never give up, that's my motto!
"Oh there you are, Cutie, do you have a moment?" Mrs Keeper suddenly notices me. She picks up a pot containing some flowery-looking plants and has a solemn look on her face.
"Yes sure, Mrs Keeper!" I say, "Pardon me for talking with my mouth full of grass. What's up?"
"Look at this, Cutie!" She thrusts the flower pot towards me.
"Oh gee thanks, Mrs Keeper, that's very kind of you!" I grin, sniffing the pointy green leaves, opening my mouth and preparing to take a bite, always happy to receive free food.
"NO!!!!!" The pot is suddenly whisked away from my teeth, and I stare at the empty space before me with some confusion. "It's not for you to EAT, Cutie! Actually that's what I want to talk to you about. Look at my poor aeonium, SIX of her leaves have already been chewed off! And look at the bite marks on this other echeveria baby next to it! I only left this pot on the ground for TWO minutes!"
I take a closer look - she is right. Half of the flowery looking thing is missing, and I'm afraid I know who the culprit is. I must make a point to talk to Chocolate later; he is a true connoisseur of all garden plants and will be able to tell us whether that flowery thing is worth eating. Yesterday he even took a bite out of the new cactus Mrs Keeper has just bought (a prickly pear cactus, Big Kid tells us), and unfortunately Spotty is still helping to pull out tons of its little prickly pin-like hairs from his lips. Thanks to Chocolate, I'm giving THAT one a miss.
"Err I didn't do it, Mrs Keeper!" Which is true on this occasion, luckily.
"Well, whoever DID do it...." She stares at me suspiciously, "Can you tell them NOT to do it again?"
I nod helpfully. Knowing full well that any food-related instructions I give my kids and grandkids will fall on deaf ears.
"Because if I see these bite marks on my babies again....." Mrs Keeper stares harder, in a more threatening manner.
"If you see these bite marks again....?" I take a step back.
"I will plant a row of prickly pears all around your hutches!!!"
The Sunny Zoo
The animals at the Sunny Zoo enjoy their many freedoms, including having access to the Internet and a blog.
(C) The Sunny Zoo 陽光動物園 2017