I came home today and found ‘squeak’ lying there lifeless. Usually, I would offer a greeting and squeak would be extremely excited, as what follows my greeting is usually a nut or a cookie crumb. Today he just lied there motionless….I first bought squeak from that Chinchilla shop at Serangoon Gardens. He was no bigger than half a thumb and awfully stinky. The ‘mousy’ smell I’d call it. It has a dirty brown coat and extremely ugly in many sense. One could imagine the shop owner caught a wretch animal off the street and trying to make a buck out of it… no, two bucks out of it. Whatever it is, I came home with squeak that very night, spending more than twenty bucks on his new home and toys. Days went by, squeak began to grow. He had a stout body, hairless tail and a terrible mousy smell. But he lived with me all through those meaningless and lonely evenings. Occasionally, I’d let squeak out of the cage and ramble on my bed. Once in a while, he would pee a puddle, just droplets but enough to send me swearing.
This evening, squeak left me for some paradise unknown to our superiority. As I took his weightless body in my hand and carried it out to the garden, I felt a genuine sadness. He has given me so much, much more than I could ever recall. He stirred my imagination and opened a window to a Lilliputian world. Beyond that, I felt there had been moments when I felt contact between his tiny being and my own. Sometimes when I teased him, he’d nibble my fingers; when I stole his nut he would squeak non stop in protest. It felt as though an affectionate message was passed between us. I buried squeak amongst the grass and walked back to the house. I was sad, for squeak, but more so for me. The size of a friend has nothing to do with the void he or she leaves behind.