Early this morning, Child Number Three and I were making our breakfast-rounds of all the critters in the house.
We gave Georgia the fierce, bad cat a good, long pat, fed her, and filled up her drinking bowl.
We sprinkled flakes on the surface of the water in the guppy tank.
We dropped five tiny pellets into each of the three betta fish bowls, and waited patiently to see if Ruby, Sapphire and Opal each managed to consume their meals before the food sank to the bottom (bettas are strictly "top-feeders").
Throughout the process, Child Number Three kept up a steady stream of one-sided conversation with her pets (if you don't count the purrs and wet, fishy, blubbing noises as "responses").
But the two guinea pigs, Cookie and Cupcake, are a completely different story. They are almost as noisy as Wee Three, herself.
As soon as Child Number Three's little footsteps could be heard on the floorboards of the hallway, the two guinea pigs jumped to attention in their enormous hutch (we call it the Piggy Palace), and began "woink-ing" enthusiastically. Their vociferous welcome always makes my youngest child practically collapse with giggles, and she kneels right down to talk to them while I quickly chop up a few cucumbers, apples and carrots for the gp's dining pleasure.
This morning, her opening line to Cookie and Cupcake surprised me, however. Indeed, I think it flummoxed even THEM...
She put her face very close to the bars of the cage, smiled at them endearingly, and cooed:
"Polly want a cracker?!"