Oh, the agony!
Resident agony uncle Kit Hesketh-harvey solves your dilemmas
Q As I was tending my borders last week, I heard an unearthly squealing coming from the neighbours’ garden. On closer investigation, I discovered that my Jack Russell had got into the guinea-pig enclosure and that the rodent was quite dead. I’m ashamed to say that I retrieved the dog and fled and haven’t heard a word about it. Should I confess?
R. G., Surrey
A Were there any witnesses? If not, keep schtum. Guinea pigs are closely related to lemmings— if challenged, you could say that it was suicide. If somebody saw, I should bypass the parents and go straight to the children. The main or perhaps only reason for owning a guinea pig is to stage a magnificent funeral on its passing. Bedeck your Jack Russell in black ostrich plumes and have him pull a crêpe-clad skateboard bearing the tiny coffin. The children will become desperate to murder every subsequent pet they own to indulge their High-victorian morbidity.
Alternatively, source a white guinea pig, paint flecks of black on it and pop it in the pen, telling your neighbours that its ermine winter coat has come early. People silly enough to own guinea pigs are deeply impressionable.