Rambo Houdini Fudge

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Nobody suspected what the cute little brown guinea-pig would be like after we brought him home from the breeder’s house. Nancy, an avid guinea-pig breeder, gifted him to me out of friendship, as we became good friends when Sqweeky, my previous guinea-pig, was fighting for his life. Nancy tenderly nursed Sqweeky as best as she could until it became apparent that he wasn’t going to make it. Whether it was because she felt guilty at not being able to save Sqweeky or because she could see how distraught I was over his loss, Nancy decided to offer me what she thought would be her best replacement pig.

My husband, Lee, and I decided to name the new baby guinea-pig “Fudge†because of the chocolaty brown, silky fur. The little rodent seemed so docile, quietly sitting in his traveling cage while we drove home. He was just a baby and seemed so fragile as I carefully transferred him to his new cage home. Once there, he sat for hours, looking at us timidly with his big dark sad eyes that were filled with suspicion and fear.

The next morning I decided to hold him a while. I carefully picked him up out of his cage and placed him on my lap with a thick folded towel to protect my clothing. He laid there passively for a few minutes while I petted him. He took his time to assess the situation and waited patiently for me to relax with my coffee as I watched the news on TV. I didn’t know that guinea-pigs could have a dark side but I soon learned about Fudge’s for it was at this time he began to reveal it.

Whether it was out of fear or renewed courage, he attempted to leave my lap and towel several times, scratching me with his tiny claws. He refused to be held in place and began fidgeting angrily in protest. I had to use both hands to control him as he squeaked defiantly and fought me with all his strength. Not unlike the taming of a wild mustang, little Fudge fought me for a whole hour while I tried repeatedly to sooth and control him. My coffee got cold, my tension was high and my forearms were welted and lumpy from pet claws and dander.

Frustrated over the angry unpleasant cavy, I placed him in a nearby playpen on the floor with wired walls 12 inches high. Then I went to the kitchen to wash my welted arms and get fresh hot coffee when I heard strange sounds coming from the living room. I grabbed my coffee and hurried back to check on Fudge just in time to see the unbelievable: he somehow managed to scale the foot high fence out of sheer tenacity and escaped his pen to the freedom of the house. I could not believe my eyes! Sqweeky had never even tried to climb out of the playpen but this little guy had other plans. Faster than lightening, he ran and hid from place to place until I was able to catch him and pop him back into his cage. “He is like an overactive toddler! Terrible two’s!†I thought.

When my husband came home I told him about our little “angel,†and he didn’t believe me. Fudge sat quietly in his cage, looking up timidly at Lee with his large dark eyes. His tiny body was hidden under the fragrant hay, motionless. So I demonstrated by putting Fudge inside his play pen once again, and in seconds the little rodent made like a professional escape artist and pulled himself over the fence to freedom. Lee was impressed. He watched as I struggled to catch and control the little baby guinea-pig, trying not to hurt him.

“That’s no guinea-pig,†Lee said laughing. “That’s the Spawn of Satan! We should call him Rambo!â€

“No.. Houdini! From now on he will be known as Rambo Houdini Fudge,†I replied with a sigh.

As the months went on, I noticed the more I held Rambo, the calmer he became. Now we enjoy “quality time” together daily and he all but falls asleep on my lap, relaxed and content while I pet him.

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