Welcome back to the ‘Guinea Pig Times’ (GPT) Saturday supplement! Every week we will be following the adventures of a brave little guinea pig, called Muffin McPiggle, on his travels around the world!

GPT: Hello Muffin! So, last week you found a new girlfriend called Gertie! We’re all itching to know – how is it going?

Muffin: Umm. Not too well, I’m afraid…

GPT: Oh dear! What’s happened?

Muffin: Well, it turns out that Gertie is from Switzerland (she was on holiday in Austria), so she invited me to come and visit her parents in the Swiss Alps. I was very excited, because I absolutely love Toblerones! (my mum actually uses a Toblerone as a toast rack).

Anyway, we travelled for hours by bus, right up into the Swiss mountains and eventually got to this rickety little wooden house in a grassy field full of goats. Her parents are goat herders, which I don’t have a problem with, except as we got close to their house, Gertie started to yodel – really loud and right in my ear! It was dreadful! If you’ve never heard a guinea pig yodelling, you’re very lucky – I wish I hadn’t.

Her mum, Heidi, came skipping out of the house, also yodelling, her two massive pigtails blowing in the wind. Then they held hands and danced around and around in a circle on the hillside, laughing and giggling. What a couple of loons!

Her mum came up and gave me a huge hug, which was nice except her pigtails kept poking me in the eye. Then she invited me indoors and I was hopeful I might get some Toblerone, but no such luck.
“Let me get you a drink” said Heidi, and she bought me a glass of smelly goats milk.
They both stood staring at me, so I had no choice but to drink the stuff…
“Isn’t it delicious!” said Heidi.
“Mmm, yes. Lovely” I lied.
“Straight out of the goat this morning!” she exclaimed, as I held back my rising nausea.

Just then, Gertie’s dad came in, and she ran to give him big cuddle.
“Muffin! This is my papa, Wolfgang!”
Oh my goodness – he was HUGE! This massive, grumpy-looking guinea pig, wearing lederhosen… He eyed me up and down, VERY suspiciously, and Gertie and Heidi looked on nervously… We all just stood there in a frozen, awkward silence – until suddenly a cuckoo clock went off.

(Cuckoo clocks are very traditional in Switzerland but this one was a little different – every time the clock struck the hour, a little wooden door opened and a guinea pig popped out, squeaked 12 times, and went back indoors again. Apparently Wolfgang makes them for the tourists, when the goats have gone to sleep.)

Anyway, I soon made a feeble excuse that I had to get back to the hotel (mainly because I wanted a shower, to get rid of the smell of goat). Gertie said she could come with me, because she needed her claws manicured – but I said I was really tired and just needed a good lie down. She was really disappointed and made me promise I would ring her from the hotel, but to be honest, I think she knew it was over. We are from two different worlds – I live in the bustling city of London, with all the pollution and traffic; whereas she lives on a Swiss mountain, yodelling all day and picking up goat poo.

When I got back to my hotel I suddenly realised just how homesick I felt. I’ve been on this wonderful adventure, but deep down I really miss my hutch and my family. And so I’ve made a huge decision – it’s time for me to go back home. I never made it to Peru, but I still have some wonderful memories to take home and I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing the journey with me!

And so I’m afraid, dear reader, it’s time to say goodbye! Thank you so much for reading my travel blog, and if you are ever passing my hutch, you’re always welcome to pop in for a carrot!

Byeee!

Love and peace.
Muffin McPiggle.

Missed a previous episode?
Squeak #1: The adventure begins
Squeak #2: Q & A with my fans
Squeak #3: London
Squeak #4: Paris
Squeak #5: South of France
Squeak #6: Austria

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