Oh, the agony!

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

Res­i­dent agony un­cle Kit Hes­keth-har­vey solves your dilem­mas

Si­lent wit­ness

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.

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