Liana went downstairs and sat next to Poppy for an hour and a half. Liana stroked her and talked to her until Poppy was gone. All of us shed tears for Poppy. Liana loved her so much. I used to say God made guinea pigs just for little girls. What docile animals they are, and so responsive to tender care. And Poppy was a one-girl pig. She loved Liana.
Some people would say, "But it's only a guinea pig!" Poppy was much more than just a rodent. She brought out Liana's best. Liana is such a nurturing child. She used to carry Poppy around in a basket lined with fleece. When Liana sat with Poppy in her lap, Poppy would nestle in against her. I would sometimes try to put Poppy back in her cage and Poppy would resist me and snuggle closer to Liana. I still remember the day the girls got their guinea pigs. What joy these two animals brought to our household! And poor Sunshine, Arielle's pig. She wanders around the cage confused, looking for Poppy.
Poppy was buried in a shoebox among the Rose of Sharon and azalea in the backyard. Her headstone is a beautiful rock we carried back from North Carolina several years ago. We can see it from the kitchen window. Liana is hurting. I realize this is the end of childhood. Little girls and little animals. Gone with the years.