AS just about any mother with young children knows, the most chilling words that can be heard at the end of a school year are: ``Mom, can I bring home the class science project for the summer? He won't eat much.'' Followed by: ``All we'll need is a good, sturdy cage!'' Well, junior brought home a science project the other night, cage and all. The SP turned out to be a squiggly, squeally little fellow named Cupcake, a rather shy guinea pig.
The family has already learned some interesting lessons from this experience. The most important has been a reminder that all creatures -- big, or small -- are individuals, with their own distinct personalities and tastes. When Cupcake, for example, wants his favorite food -- lawn clippings -- he does what any self-respecting guinea pig would do: He stomps his foot. If that doesn't work, he takes firmer action: He flips his food bowl upside down, sometimes marching around with the bowl tilted inelegantly on his head. And guess what? Who do you think the first person is to suggest that someone should go out to the yard for more lawn clippings, even if it is 11:15 at night? Why, Mom, of course!