Even Our Guinea Pig Had a Household Chore


No able-bodied human or animal would live in my house without contributing in some way to our household

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the family as the original cell of society which teaches children all about justice and responsibility. There are countless ways to teach kids about responsibility and one of the best ways is assigning everybody a chore. Even family pets are not exempt.

II. THE FAMILY AND SOCIETY

2207 The family is the original cell of social life. It is the natural society in which husband and wife are called to give themselves in love and in the gift of life. Authority, stability, and a life of relationships within the family constitute the foundations for freedom, security, and fraternity within society. The family is the community in which, from childhood, one can learn moral values, begin to honor God, and make good use of freedom. Family life is an initiation into life in society.

Our pet guinea pig pushed his luck one day when I discovered why Guinea Pigs are called PIGS. It is because they eat just like real pigs that’s why.

I was losing patience with ours; every time I opened the fridge that little rodent would squeak like crazy, begging for another vegetable.

One day, I marched out into our garden and pulled out an entire stalk of broccoli and stuffed it in the guinea pig’s cage. I stuffed the entire cage with greens, mini broccoli and a thick, fibrous stalk. The wire door didn’t even close completely.

The next morning the entire plant was gone, only a few tough, stringy fibres left. When I opened the fridge door, that guinea pig started squeaking for food once more. I couldn’t believe it; his stomach should have burst open.

Then I made a decision.

No able-bodied human or animal would live in my house without contributing in some way to our household. I decided that this particular animal was going to trim the grass around the house. I gathered the oldest four kids together and explained that we were taking the bottom off the cage and placing it right beside the house where there were no gardens. Every few hours, someone would move the cage.

It was a brilliant idea.

The kids thought it was hilarious that a guinea pig would have a household chore and I was quite pleased to have a little more peace in the kitchen.

However, I forgot to consider that we lived in the country. Foxes, coyotes, wolves and even owls love to snack on rodents. One morning the cage was knocked over and all that was left of this little guinea pig was his gizzard. David was sure that it was no ordinary predator that had attacked our guinea pig. No, it was a big, black bear and he knew that to be a fact because he could see,

“the big, bloody, footprints down the lane!”

connecting to theology is a verb

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