It had been a long time coming, but at last it had arrived. For over three years Melinda had pestered her parents for a pet guinea pig. Over that time she had used many ingenious arguments as to why she should get a guinea pig as a pet. The clincher came when she promised she’d let her horrible little brother chose a name for it. At last Melinda was acting kindly towards her little brother.
Melinda already had a hutch in preparation for the possibility of a guinea pig one day turning up. The hutch used to belong to her good friend Meghan, but Meghan’s pet bunny had died so she had no further use for a hutch.
It was Melinda’s birthday and, miracle of miracles, a guinea pig arrived. It was cuddled, and pulled, and pushed, and shoved and squeezed. It was fed warm milk from a bottle with a baby’s teat. It was put in its hutch, and taken out of its hutch.
And what should Melinda’s little brother name it? He said, “It shall be called Brindle”. And indeed the guinea pig was a sort of brindle. Melinda didn’t like it. “It’s a horrible name,” she said. “Pick another.”
“What about Quincy?” suggested Melinda’s horrible little brother. Melinda didn’t like it. “It’s a horrible name,” she said. “Pick another.”
“Then it should be called Penguin,” said Melinda’s horrible little brother.
“Since you can’t decide on a name,” announced Melinda, “it shall be called Petal.”
“But the guinea pig is a boy,” said Melinda’s horrible little brother. “You can’t name a boy Petal.”
“I can do what I like,” said Melinda.
Anyway, within a month Melinda had lost interest in Petal. Her horrible little brother took over its care and named it Brindle.