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December 01, 2009

rest in peace

My beloved guinea pig Mani passed away this morning. There will be no service, there will be no memorial. But I will write about her here and remember all that she taught me and her special traits.

Mani you were named after the Sankrit word for jewel and the Spanish slang for peanut.

At first you were in a cage but you had such odd hours. Sometimes you would run around your little cage but then when I put you on the floor you would hide under the couch.

So I decided to let you run free in my room - my little jeweled peanut. You loved to do your exercises after I went to bed. I could hear you doing laps around the rug that was your race track. You were so fast.

And clever. You loved to hide under the dresser or in the closet and when I put things to block the way you spent hours poking and exploring until you found a way through the obstacle and into your cozy dark hiding place.

You were the first being that I gladly rearranged my life for with no thought of return other than the joy of your joy. A special bed that you could not hide under was built. Things arranged so you had the maximum race track room. I carefully ensured that you had enough cozy spaces to hide under but not too many that I couldn't keep them clean.

And although shy at first you were a social bird. When the girls came over and we sat on the floor you would walk around and smell everyone's feet (which I am sure you thought were lots of strange guinea pigs). Any quick movements sent you dashing for safety but then your curiosity would get the best of you and you'd come tottering out again. You didn't like to be held (too much loss of control I assume) but when approached in the right gentle way, you loved a good chin scratch or side rub.

You loved it when I did the laundry, hanging it from the rack. You would dart in and out of the clothes. And when I tossed a load of clean dry clothes on the floor you would play with them as I did the folding. You could never resist checking anything out that was dumped on the floor - it was your domain and girl, you knew it. You owned that floor.

You kept the demons away when I felt them creep on the edges of my loneliness. I wasn't scared of the dark with you around - even if it was just because I knew the monsters would eat you first. But I'd hear you rustling around and know that as long as you felt safe I felt safe.

We shared four wonderful years together. A good long life for a guinea pig. Memories of you will always flit through my mind and dance across my heart. Thank you for our time together.

If you are reborn, may it be in a better life where you have the freedoms and favorable conditions to practice immediately after taking birth.

May you know happiness; may you know the causes of happiness.