When I began writing stories about Fluffy the Classroom Guinea Pig, I felt confident that I understood the inner life of this little furry creature because when I was in 2nd grade, two guinea pigs came into my life. I named them George and ZaaZaa after 1950’s movie stars, and every day after school, I’d dress them in doll clothes and take them for a walk in my doll carriage. When we got back home, I’d take off their clothes and feed them carrots and lettuce, and I could tell they liked that better than the dressing up part. George and ZaaZaa are no longer with us, but the two of them live on as the inspirations for Fluffy.
No, this isn’t me with George or ZaaZaa. It’s my daughter Leigh with her friend’s guinea pig, Peaches. But she’s doing what I used to do with my pigs — feeding her and talking to her. Maybe Leigh will be inspired to write a story about Peaches one day.