Photographs taken by Patricia Aguilar
We are pleased to introduce to you Gushita, the companionable guinea pig belonging to Mr. Caruso of Argentina, South America. Gushita keeps Mr. Caruso from getting too lonely during the week, because at this time his wife and daughter live in Uruguay and he only gets to see them on the weekends. Mr. Caruso (whose language is Spanish) tells us, in his own charming "Spanglish" way, how Gushita wasn't always called by that name:
When we bought the guinea pig, my wife and daughter and I thought she was "a boy" so we named "him" Gushito. Every day we said: Gushito, come here; Gushito, do you like lettuce? We also said: Gushito, don't go outside, because Gushito was free at first, so he used to walk on the floor from here to there. But he often hid behind the refrigerator.
At first Gushito lived in Uruguay. When my wife came to Argentina to visit me, she used to bring Gushito to her sister's house. My sister-in-law had another guinea pig, so Gushito and the other guinea pig ran together, ate together, slept together, but nobody paid enough attention to them.
Gushito began to grow fat. When I went to Uruguay, I realized that Gushito was more fat each time. But neither my wife nor I were surprised, because Gushito ate more and more. Once we thought Gushito would explode.
One night, when all people were sleeping, my wife went out of bed to go to the kitchen, but when she stood up she screamed, "Ay, Robert!" I jumped up and said to her, "What happen, Raquel?" She was standing by the bed without movement and staring at her feet. I also looked at her feet and I saw a beautiful and very little guinea pig on her feet. My wife and I exclaimed at the same time, "Gushito had a baby! Gushito is a guinea girl pig!" Since that day, we have named our guinea pig "Gushita." Later, we found the second baby and after a few weeks we gave the babies to a friend in Uruguay.
As you can see, my wife and I feel foolish because we didn't realize Gushita was pregnant. We thought she was fat!
A note from Hunny: Many pig pals have written to us similar stories of "mistaken identities!" Mr. Caruso tells us more funny stories about Gushita:
Gushita's pen is in the kitchen, on the marble worktop, and it always has the door open so she can go out and come back whenever she wants. Gushita likes to walk on the marble worktop close to the wall. The marble is wide close to the pen, but it becomes narrow close to the sink and water faucets. I watched Gushita several times to see how she managed to pass through that narrow but short corridor between the faucets and the wall.
One day I forgot and left the coffeepot close to the faucets. As she did it every day, Gushita went to walk along the marble worktop without thinking what would happen. Suddenly, Gushita touched the coffeepot and it fell into the sink making a loud noise. Gushita came back to her pen running so fast that I think her running might be included in the Guinness Book of World Records. Poor Gushita! What a fright! I think she will never forget it.
Gushsita lived in Uruguay with my wife and my daughter in 1997. I didn't work very much that year, so when I went to visit them I usually stayed in Uruguay several days. As I was there I used to seat on an old sofa by the fireplace in winter. One day I decided to change that old sofa and I bought a new one. My wife decided to give the old sofa to her brother, who came home and took it to his house. That night we were looking for Gushita because we hadn't seen her for hours. We couldn't find her and we went to sleep sad because we thought Gushita had gone outside and a cat had eaten her. The following morning very early my brother-in-law came home with Gushita in his hands. He couldn't sleep well the night before because he heard weeeeep, weeeeep, all the night. The sofa had a small hole and Gushita got into the sofa through it. Gushita was inside the sofa!
Another note from Hunny: "I wish Sylvia's family would let me run around loose! They probably are afraid I would raid the refrigerator every night while they were asleep. Hummm, what a good idea!" Mr. Caruso tells us another funny story about the adventuresome Gushita and her "boyfriend" guinea pig who stayed with her at the very end of last year:
During the two weeks Gushita and the guinea boy pig were together, they generated noisiness almost all the time. Usually Gushita isn't nervous, but her mate changed her behavior a lot. They went out of the pen to investigate all the things there are on the marble worktop. One night a crashing noise woke me up. I went to the kitchen and what do you think I found? A glass broken on the floor and the two guinea pigs running around the table service. When they saw me they looked at me as if to ask: "What are you doing here at 2 o'clock in the morning?"
But the funniest story I remember about both guinea pigs together happened when they were running from pen to sink, from sink to pen, from here to there, from there to here, once, twice, three times, four times, etc., slowly at first but faster and faster then, so they were running disorderly: when Gushita went to there, the guinea boy pig came back to here, when the guinea boy pig went to there Gushita came back to here...until they crashed one against the other! The noise generated by the strike between them was like a strong knocking to the door!
Says Hunny, "Good thing we have hard heads!" Mr. Caruso tells us one last story about Gushita:
I usually drink a good red wine when I have lunch or supper. I'm fond of wine...only at lunch or at supper! Sometimes I put Gushita on the table to eat with me. She likes to taste all that she finds on the table: bread, biscuits, tomato, carrot, pepper, lettuce, pumpkin, even cheese. But the activity she likes to do the most is to gnaw the red wine bottle label. One day she pulled off the label paper so hard that the bottle fell down and the red wine poured on the table. Two seconds later Gushita was sliding on the red wine as if she were in a scene of "Titanic." The wine had stained her paws and feet. She stared at me as if to say she had done nothing. At that moment she looked lovely.
Consequences: I had to open another red wine bottle and Gushita had a wine smell for a while. Fortunately, she didn't drink the wine. Do you imagine what would Gushita have done if she had drunk the wine?
Says Hunny, "Considering Gushita's wonderful Argentinean background, she might have done the Tango!" When we told Mr. Caruso we'd like to have Gushita be on our web page, here is what he said:
After receiving your email I made a phone call to my wife and daughter to tell them the good news. I told them: "People of all over the world will have the possibility to read Gushita's stories! Many people from different countries will know Gushita and how we love her! Do you realize the meaning of this?" And then I added: "This means Gushita will be forever not only in our hearts but also in hearts of all people who love animals." Mr. Flibbert is still alive on our memory, and so are Chestnut, Los Cobayos de Ecuador, etc. What a wonderful homage to all guinea pigs! We mustn't forget guinea pigs have been utilized by science to prove new medicines and vaccines before using by human beings. Mankind has a debt with guinea pigs: our survivorship as species. I really think Hunny Home Page was a great idea. I also think what wonderful guinea pig must be Hunny to inspire you to do this. Thank you, Hunny. Thank you, Sylvia.
And thank you, Mr. Caruso!
Photographs taken by Patricia Aguilar
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