At a generic pet superstore buying supplies for the very demanding tortoise, we wander past a glass tank full of degus. For those of you not up on such matters, a degu is a small, rodent that resembles a well fed gerbil but with a longer, rat-like tail. They do not like to be alone, and live for preference in large herds. There were a fair number of degus frisking around in the tank.
I use the word frisking advisedly.
Oscar: ‘Look! Look! That degu is riding on that other degu.
Tallulah: ‘That’s hilarious. It’s riding him around like a pony.’
Oscar: ‘Mum! Look at them riding around.’
Me, absent-mindedly thinking about where one would put cuttlefish in a giant, pet superstore: ‘They’re not riding. They’re having sex.’
Tallulah: ‘But it looks like they’re riding.’
Me (inwardly cursing my own stupidity): ‘I know that. But that’s what degu sex looks like.’
Tallulah: ‘Ha ha ha!’
Oscar is just staring by now in beady eyed fascination.
The degu being ridden tires of either a) being looked at whilst having sex, b) having sex or c) and this is where I’d put my money if I were a betting woman, both.
Oscar: ‘Look! It’s bitten him!’
Tallulah: ‘Why has it bitten him?’
Me: ‘Probably because it’s tired of being ridden around like a show pony and it doesn’t want to have sex any more.’
There is a pause from us all:
Me, in a fuck it mood: ‘At least that’s how I tell your dad I’ve had enough anyway.’
We continue looking for the cuttlefish in silence.