Way-aye, Roscoe here.
I’ve had a busy week, as usual, and Mam’s been busy either going out for walks, or on the computer (and talking to people, or them talking to her), or in the garden. And some of the things she’s been doing on her computer have been looking at vegetable seeds, and garden runs for us, and looking at cottages in a place called the Peak District. She’s bought some fennel, cucumber and green manure seeds, and something to help the grass grow. And cottages aren’t until October, apparently.
I was getting my hopes up when I saw her going outside with just a sweater over her indoors clothes. It was a lovely sunny day, so I thought it might be grass time. She saw my look, and said no, it’s much too cold, and the ground is very wet. But she brought us in a few leaves, celeriac leaves and kale and chervil from the veggie patch, and some dandelion and groundsel from the front. She says there’s hardly any dandelion around. It seems to be hiding.
And as I couldn’t think of anything else to talk about this week, I thought I’d ask her the same questions you wanted me to ask us last autumn. So this is what she said.
1 What do you like best for food?
I like cheese most, it’s my very favourite food. You wouldn’t like it though, Roscoe, it’s made from cow’s milk. Or sheep’s milk, or goat’s. It’s why I put on weight: I eat too much of it. I also like salad, so I’m with you there, and several other veggies that you don’t like, some because they are not good for you. I don’t know why you don’t like the others, but we all have our preferences.
Like what, I asked
Well, tomatoes, for a start.
2 What do you like the least that your mum has to do to care for you? I suppose that you do to care for yourself.
Hmm, well I suppose it’s nail trimming for me, too. For me it’s just hard to do, especially my feet, because they are a long way away and my arms aren’t long enough to reach easily.
3 When do you get excited and make loud noises?
Mainly when one of the racehorses I like is running, and has a chance of winning. Some of the other loud noises I make are called ‘singing’, but I don’t get excited with that.
4 Have you always been called Mam?
No, you were the first to call me ‘Mam’. Most of the boys call me Mummy if they call me anything. And most people call me by my first name.
4a So have you changed your name or left it as it is.
When I started writing, I was told that if you googled your name and it brought up things you wouldn’t want your readers to see, then take a pen name. So I have at least three names I answer to.
5 What’s your least favourite food, and is there a food you really ought to eat that you dislike?
I like nearly every vegetable, although I don’t like swede (which is a type of beet, I think Auntie Noelle knows it as rutabaga). I was very noble and tried it on some of the other piggies, and they didn’t like it either, so I don’t have to buy it. Or turnips. And aubergine doesn’t like me much, it can upset my tummy. I think it’s to do with the way it’s cooked. I don’t eat meat or fish, but cheese stops me going vegan. And I like most fruits, but don’t eat as much as I should, because I prefer chocolate, which is poisonous to you.
6 Have any of you ever had to share your homes with animals other than humans and guinea pigs? Have you ever thought of bringing something else home rather than more guinea pigs?
Ah, clever question. When I was little we had a cat, budgies, chickens, a white rat, and we looked after a rabbit when my cousins went abroad. Now this is strange, because my cousin swears she had a guinea pig called Fudge, but we definitely looked after a rabbit called Fudge. I have always wanted to have a sulphur-crested cockatoo, which is a sort of parrot, but I think Auntie Dawn would say NOOOO, don’t get a parrot–and she’d be right. And I often think I’d like a dog, but really, I’d rather have guinea pigs, and I don’t think dogs and guinea pigs are a good mix. So I think you’re safe as you are, Roscoe. Unless I get a bearded dragon… or a chameleon… but they need special habitats, and I don’t think we’ve got room.
Gosh, thanks, Mam. That’s really interesting!
And then Mam told me about a funny thing in a book she’s reading this week, where some people on a planet far away are all different species of space travellers, and they are discussing the disgusting thing that humans make with milk–and not even their own milk … cheese!
I think those people are probably right. Cheese sounds and smells very suspicious to me. See you next time.