Butters, The Tiny Pig & The Wonderful World Of Vegetables

For as long as I can remember, it has always been a toss up between getting a guinea pig or getting a rabbit. I’ve always had an affinity towards small, furry creatures. I came across many rabbits, timid piggies, and tiny bunnies with funny hairstyles, but none of them really caught my attention the way that Butters did. Have you ever watched a rom com where the girl doesn’t like the guy at first, so she walks away, but towards the end of the movie they end up falling madly in love with each other? When I found Butters tucked away in the corner of her 30 by 36 inch cage, nestled under hay and messy, with specs of food dispersed all over her muzzle- I walked away, unsure of myself of whether I could take care of another animal because at the time, I already had two dogs to take care of on my own.

Cue cheesy scene music that plays as the girl lays in her bedroom thinking about the guy that could have been. I was humming “Half of My Heart,” by John Mayer on the drive home, wondering what the future would look like with a guinea pig in my life..or without it. “Ohhhh ohhh, half of my heart’s got a grip on the situation, half of my heart takes time,” you know, as the song goes. As time would tell, I couldn’t stop thinking about that little pig. Night had fallen, and mother moon was out to play. 2015 Justin Beiber laid next to me, propping his gorgeous head full of hair up with his elbow, and serenaded me with “When you nod your head yes, but you wanna say no, what do you mean?” I tossed and turned into the night, unable to sleep, regretting walking away from what could have been.  So I went back the next day, hoping against all hope that Butters would still be there. Low and behold, she was, nestled between two other rabbits that I hadn’t noticed before, signaling that she was the last of her kind. I rushed towards her and held her in the palms of my hands. As I watched her staring back at me, she sat calmly. Probably wondering what the hell I’m going to do next because I was a giant ogre compared to her. I also found myself caught in the crossfires of the intense war between rabbits and guinea pigs. A few minutes went by, but the battle cries died down, the war was over. Long awaited peace arrived as thousands of petals from my favorite flower fell down from the sky. It could be seen from a distance, far yet distinct, but a white flag was raised by the rabbits, their ears flopped, with cotton tails tucked between their hind legs, they hobbled away stunned in defeat. (In reality the two other rabbits just went inside their little house).  The guinea pigs have won. I finally took Butters home.

Over the years, Butters has taught me to eat my vegetables and I learned the benefits that came with them. I’ve always had bad eating habits, and never really made an effort to incorporate vegetables. Growing up in my house hold, there was always an abundance of rice, starchy noodles, packs of soda gathered while on sale (Mmm.. sprite), and every dish was almost always paired with some type of meat. During college, home was far away so I ate fast food frequently. When Butters came along, it was like recess was over, the bell had rung. It was time to slow down and go do some actual grocery shopping because according to Butters, a girl’s gotta eat. I always bought her favorites- red bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, watermelon, and romaine lettuce, along with a few other vegetables I experimented with like radishes, radicchio, lacinato kale, yellow kiwanos, and red and golden beets. I even converted to organic and we would both scramble in order to eat them fast before they expired. Organic food don’t play. Fair warning to those planning to buy organic bananas, they literally become brown in a matter of days. As silly as it sounds, Butters opened up a whole new world to me that if it weren’t for her, I would have probably gone my whole life without. But I think that is what happens when you come to love something, even if it isn’t a someone. You want to learn more about them, what they like and don’t like, and you want to do your best to take care of them. In turn you adopt their habits, because the things you love, rub off on you. This certainly does sound like a rom com now.

Honestly, I never really thought that I would care so much over a small guinea pig. How so much space in my heart could be filled by a tiny mammal, who was just living its tiny life eating carrots and stealing my rainier cherries whenever I looked away. And rainier cherries are expensive when they aren’t in season. Who squeaked every morning as if it were an urgent matter that had to be attended to right away whenever I walked by her cage as I rushed to school and work. Sometimes it makes me sad to think that we both outlived a few of her fellow piggy friends and I lost an older dog I had growing up to cancer. I guess its because I named her after a South Park character (is it luck?) or the organic food, but Butters is 8 years old now. She’s passed her prime and spends her days napping under the milky saps of dandelions, safely hidden between blades of grass and tall stalks of surrounding flowers, licking the morning dew laid between veins of fallen leaves and enjoying the warmth of seasons passed.  She still teaches me in her own ways why vegetables are good for me and that love can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

I hope you are enjoying my last few posts! I’ve been putting a lot more effort into them. Thanks for reading this far.

With love,