The Secret Diary of Truffle Teague

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The Secret Diary of Truffle Teague


Truffle was a delightful brown guinea pig. She came to live with my parents in March 2015, with another female guinea named Duchess. Unfortunately Duchess was a bit of a bully! When Duchess and Truffle were 7 months old, a male guinea named Monty came to live with them. Truffle’s diary is about her time with Monty and what happened afterwards.

 

October

Dear Diary,

I hope you are well. I’m sorry I haven’t written for a while. Last week Duchess bit my ear and it was so painful, I couldn’t think to write. But it feels much better now.

I was going to write yesterday, except something happened and I forgot. Duchess and I received a visitor. His name is Monty, and he comes from somewhere called Stroud. It sounds pretty – Monty says there are lots of trees.

Monty has come to stay for three weeks. I was surprised when he turned up, but Duchess wasn’t, and she said Auntie (the lady who looks after us) had told us all about it. I think I didn’t hear Auntie at the time, because my ear was hurting. Anyway, it is nice to have him here.

Duchess doesn’t like Monty, though. She calls him a “barbarian”, which means someone who is rather wild, Monty told me. I don’t think he is a barbarian, as he comes from Stroud, not the jungle. Also, he has shiny silver fur with a smart quiff, and he talks about interesting things.

Last night Monty and I talked about all sorts of things. Duchess wouldn’t let me into the bedroom as usual and she wouldn’t let Monty in either, so we made ourselves comfy in the dining room. At one point Monty surprised me with something he called “a special present”. Then he tried to get into the bedroom again and I think he wanted to give Duchess a special present too, but she wasn’t having it. This morning Auntie brought us a good big breakfast of grass and veggies and leaves.



November

Dear Diary,

How are you? I am feeling sad today, because Monty has gone. I miss him so much. It was nice to have someone to sit with and talk to.

As he was leaving, Duchess said, “Good riddance!” She was so rude to him while he was here, I think she is the barbarian really. Well, Monty just chuckled at that, then he gave me one of his little winks before his Auntie carried him away.

The first thing our Auntie did once Monty had left was to weigh me and Duchess and she seemed very interested in the numbers. She wrote down our weights as usual, then she looked thoughtful and started feeling around our tummies. Duchess just stared at Auntie, so I don’t know what was happening. But I think I’m a bit bigger at the moment because I’ve been hungrier than usual lately. In fact, today I found it difficult to trot through our play pipe.

The play pipe is in the Winter Palace now, also known as the greenhouse, which is where we spend most of our time. Our hutch is in there too, along with Duchess’s royal box. I’m still not allowed in the box, of course. I miss Monty’s blue box, which he always liked to share.



December

Dear Diary,

I have big news! I am going to be a mummy, just like my mummy before me.

All through November, Auntie was weighing me and Duchess and feeling our tummies. For a long time, I didn’t know what was happening, but today after Auntie weighed me she had a big smile on her face. Then she gave me a cuddle and said, “Well done, Truffle! You’re going to be a mummy!”

I said, “A mummy?” and I was sort of in shock.

Meanwhile, Auntie was weighing Duchess. Afterwards, she smiled at Duchess and gave her a cuddle, but she didn’t say Duchess was going to be a mummy. Duchess looked pleased.

Then Auntie took us back to the Winter Palace and gave us lots of grass and vegetables and leaves. I was very hungry again, so I started eating immediately – I even forgot to ask Duchess’s permission! Duchess didn’t seem to mind, though. She said, “Yes, I thought you might be rather peckish. Well, that is to be expected, when one is about to give birth to a barbaric brood.”

The word “barbaric” gave me a clue, of course. “Duchess, am I going to have Monty’s children?” I asked.

“That is,” she confirmed, “your dismal destiny. Hee, hee, hee!”

Duchess threw her head back and laughed wildly. Then she returned to her royal box, shimmying through the play pipe on the way. I noticed that she fitted through the pipe very neatly, which probably means she isn’t going to have Monty’s children. I suppose that’s why she’s so pleased.



Christmas

Dear Diary,

Merry Christmas to you!

Well, now I am a mummy. It is hard to find time for myself these days, but at the moment my babies are sleeping so I can write to you.

About two weeks after my last letter, Auntie took me away from Duchess and put me into my own hutch. Auntie explained this was “the birthing hutch”. She said it would be good for me to have some space in the days before the birth, and once the babies were born too.

I said goodbye to Duchess, but she just ignored me. I didn’t mind, though. The birthing hutch is ever so cosy, and I was so hungry all I could think about was food! And I didn’t feel lonely anyway, as each day I could feel my babies moving inside me. Sometimes they would kick quite hard!

It was just five days ago and I was settling down to sleep, when I felt the babies moving as though they were ready to come out. It’s all a bit of a blur really, but I remember pushing very hard. Each baby was wrapped up in a little sac. I had to bite through this and make sure the baby was breathing. Then I ate the sac and washed each baby thoroughly. I think I was very lucky, as they were all okay.

Finally, my afterbirth came out. I ate this too and I felt full of energy, which was just as well, as my babies were hungry for their first feed. The following morning, Auntie visited, with a good big breakfast. She also had a big smile as she watched us all. She suggested we name the babies “Eenie”, “Meenie”, “Miney” and “Mo”. This is because some of them might be boys and we mustn’t grow too attached to them, as they will have to leave in a few weeks. I felt sad about that, but I understood. That’s how it was with my brothers, I remember now.

Later I was washing my babies again and I saw that I have three boys and a girl. The girl, Mo, is the smallest, but she has such a strong character! And she is so pretty, a mixture of orange and grey.

My boys are nice to look at too. Eenie is completely black, and he is smooth like me. Meenie is mostly black, with a ginger belt and a few tufts, which is fun. The third brother, Miney, is rather magnificent. His head and rump are a mixture of black and gold, and he has a white-and-ginger belt. He also has a quiff, which reminds me of dear Monty. And he likes to talk a lot, just like his dad.

Well, Miney has just woken up and is starting to talk to me now. Season’s greetings, dear Diary! I shall write again when I can.

January

Dear Diary,

Happy New Year!

Well, it is a few weeks into January now, but everything still feels fresh and new. As you might expect, there have been a few changes since I last wrote to you.

My boys have left, as expected, but much earlier than Auntie and I had thought they would. At just two-and-a-half weeks, they were becoming little men and they were ready to take their leave. So we said our goodbyes and Auntie put them in their own hutch, within the shed. It was a surprise for everyone to be separated so early, but it was for the best, of course.

Then, a few weeks later, the men were taken to their new homesteads. Meenie now lives in a central part of town, within a big group of guineas. I’m sure he’s having a wonderful time! Eenie and Miney live together in a quieter area of Winchcombe. Their new Auntie introduced our Auntie to Monty, so I am so pleased they have gone to her. 

Eenie’s and Miney’s Auntie has a daughter, Jo – I like this name, as it reminds me of my own daughter, Mo. She and I live with Duchess now. At first, Duchess was very disagreeable, chasing me around the Winter Palace and making all sorts of threats towards poor Mo. But in time things calmed down. Duchess still thinks she’s in charge of everything, but I find I can bear this much better now that I have a companion in Mo. She grows more talkative by the day, asking questions about her father and brothers that I am more than happy to answer. Dear little Mo!