I’d been missing them all summer, but now they’re back. They’re so adorable, even in their grumpiness. They huddle together and cast a baleful eye on anyone who comes near. Attempts to get a reaction out of them go unnoticed. It’s impossible to not watch them, even though they don’t really do much – they’re mostly nocturnal, so daylight finds them doing as little as possible. They always bring a smile to my face, and if I’m having a rough day, I make a point of seeing them.
Students? No, no, no. Oh, my, no.
Our science lab has five of them, and they are one of the most adorable of God’s creations. They’re so very soft, and even though I’ve been told I can pick one up, I probably never will. I have an unfounded fear of being bitten. It seems likely to me that any creature I pick up will bite me, even if I’ve never observed them biting anyone else. I think I got that mindset from my cat Nutmeg…
The chinchillas were gone over the summer because they needed to be fed and cared for on a daily basis, but now they’re back and I couldn’t be happier.
The chinchillas have a new roomate this year – some sort of peacock-colored pheasant. I’ve never seen one so brightly hued. He’s housed in a cage right next to them, and I worry that his pheasant noises will keep them up during the day. Of course, they’re used to dealing with students all the time, so maybe they’ll be able to tune the pheasant out, too.
The science zoo also has a parrot, a whitish rat, at least one snake (Mitch the boa) and some fish that could very well be piranha. They all seem to be doing fine, but none of them hold my attention like the chinchillas. I’m comforted by their softness and cuddliness, even though I’m separated from them by a thick pane of glass.
Welcome back, chinchillas!
And speaking of helpless creatures who need to be constantly fed and looked after, the students come back today.