Phoenix and Zeus

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guinea pigs

From the fertile ashes of Bluebell’s passing have arisen Phoenix and Zeus.

They came to us as a bonded pair. Father and son.

Throwing two new boars into the communal pen makes setting a cat among the pigeons an exercise in diplomacy.

Politics and partitions

Little Spot is unfazed and welcoming. Retired king pig, he tolerates the newcomers and grazes with them in peace.

Chickpea and Bramble were flung into a state of overexcitement and thoroughly disgraced themselves. An excess of fur clasped in Bramble’s jaws – once too often – means permanent time out. And Chickpea cannot break his bad habit of biting Little Spot’s bot.

Guinea pig politics is a finely tuned beast. It means the skillful use of partitions.

The game of the name

Naming is always portentous.

With Phoenix pre-christened there was no debate. His flame-coloured pelt and startling white starburst befit the bearer of such a title.

But what to name the doe-eyed blonde baby? Achilles? Agamemnon? Zeus? Phoenix and Zeus!

My mother suggests Nutkin. Zeus or Nutkin? Do we want a mighty deity or a Beatrix Potter sort?

If we stick with Zeus, will he become a self-fulfilling prophecy?

In which case, will he need the name Zeus to deal with Bramble Blackbelt and Chickpea Brutus?

Zeus-Nutkin streaks like a furry Hermes round the pen, leaving the grizzled Spot and portlier Phoenix for dust. He’s greased lightning on wheels. One day he’ll be the cavy god of sky and thunder and Bramble Blackbelt will run for cover.

A matter of (in)breeding

Stargazer Cavy Stud produced these fabulously handsome specimens. Phoenix is an American crested dark-eyed golden boar. Zeus-Nutkin classes as an English crested buff. 

As befits classical heroes, Phoenix and Zeus sprang fully formed from the mighty loins of the same mother. Phoenix sired his golden boy at the zestful and precocious age of eight months. Yes, on his mother.

Zeus, as far as we know, has not followed suit. Perhaps Primula was removed to a separate partition before he could impregnate her.

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Merridy Pugh

Merridy Pugh is an editor and writer based in Hobart. She loves books, sun and tropical fish.

One thought on “Phoenix and Zeus

  • March 8, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    What glorious and engaging guinea pigs — and what splendid pelts.
    I’d be inclined toward the name Zeus for he has a regal and otherworldly countenance as befits a god.
    Thanks for this lovely post Merridy. May your new companions live long and prosper.


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