Caring for a beloved class pet taught me to care for myself, too

Caring for a beloved class pet taught me to care for myself, too

When I started middle school, there were a lot of things I didn’t like. I didn’t like the teachers. I didn’t like the building. Honestly, I didn’t even like the girl I saw in the mirror. She was quiet, self-conscious, and afraid of not fitting in.

But I loved our class pets. There were snakes, a rabbit, a hedgehog, a tortoise, and a bearded dragon; we even had hissing Madagascar cockroaches. One day in seventh grade, our science teacher, Mr. Franks, introduced us to a new pet, a guinea pig. She was donated by a student who couldn’t take care of her anymore.

“The new guinea pig,” as everyone called her, was skinny, five months old, and had beautiful, long, brown fur with one, singular hair that stuck up straight. We bonded right away. I’ve always wanted a pet of my own but my apartment building doesn’t allow pets. I was happy to give her the love she deserved.

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