Oreo’s First Run
I glanced up at my brother and at my mother, a slight smile passing between us. I carefully lifted the plastic cage off of the white stand. I watched as a blur of black, white, and orange fur moved into a purple igloo-shaped home, to which my guinea pig, Oreo, was accustomed to concealing herself in. Tenderly, I placed the cage on to beige carpet, kneeling on the floor. My mom passed me a gathering of grated squares, attached with multi-colored cable ties. I laid out the pen, curving the pieces behind a desk and in front of a bed, as a fence for my enclosure. The bed, desk, and a wall served as the other three sides, creating a spacious area. I slowly opened the small entrance to Oreo’s home, and stepped cautiously over the pen, back to my brother and mom. For several minutes we waited, watching the cage anxiously. The air was full of eager excitement. However, the carpet stayed untouched.
“Perhaps she just doesn’t want to run around,” I said, with a distressed sigh. “Maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.” Then, gradually, as if on cue, Oreo began to make her way out of her home.
“You see?” reassured my mother. Oreo put her paws up on to the opening, her little pink feet quivering. She pulled herself up until she could move down off of the cage. At first, she stayed in one spot on the ground, but then she began to explore.
I could hear her make a light noise as she stepped around the room I listened to her petite sound, a sort of ‘chut, chut, chut,’ as she went around the room. Every inch was new to her, a whole new place to wander around and see. I took my older brother’s hand in my own. His hand large and coarse compared to mine. I squeezed tightly as I continued to gaze at my guinea pig. As she walked, her tiny legs began to increase in speed. She scampered about area with great momentum, sprinting in circles again and again.
“It looks like she’s doing a ‘Guinea Pig 500,’” remarked my brother. I nodded, grinning from ear to ear. Oreo continued like this for some time, and I began to get tired of standing. My legs felt like they were about to give out, so I gently stepped back into the pen, and sat onto the ground. I lowered my back, lying down on the carpet. This was a new thing to Oreo. She slowed down, changing her direction, and began to explore the area around me. Her chutting sound started once more. As she walked around me, she began to jump a bit, tiny little leaps of joy. She looked almost like she was a piece of popcorn, with little bursts of energy. By looking at her, I could tell that these were happy pops.
With one final bound, Oreo jumped onto my chest. I gasped, in delight and surprise. Her feet were cold, but I didn’t mind. She nestled into my cheek, and greeted me with soft, warm licks. After a short while, she stretched out on top of me, plopping down with a quiet squeak. I gazed into her eyes, trying to communicate to her that I loved her, I wouldn’t harm her. I wanted with all my heart for her to trust me.
I peeked up at my mom and my brother, both smiling at me. I could feel the warmth of love. At that moment, I knew we had become a family. Oreo, although not yet ours, had become part of us. I slowly lifted Oreo back into her cage. She was content, comfortable with us. I closed the doorway, taking my mom’s hand in my left and my brother’s on my right. I knew I was trusted to take good care of Oreo. And more than anything, I knew I had friends to cherish, people (and animals) who I loved and who loved me.