Photo:  David Kozlowski


By Ursula Dubosarsky


King John the guinea pig who lives in our backyard 

Is finding his retirement pretty hard

Confined within a cage upon our lawn

Now throne and crown and kingdom all are gone.


O'erthrown by brother cavies in a putsch 

Condemned to exile in this lonely hutch

With all his kingly triumphs proud and free 

Now consigned to rodent memory.


His day begins with pellets, dry and round 

And bits of lettuce scattered on the ground.

The morning's spent in treading on the wheel 

To pass the time before the midday meal.


Then after lunch without disdain or rage 

He royally relaxes in his cage.

But come the night, as soon as darkness falls

He hurls himself against the wire walls


And cries aloud - so pitiful a thing! 

The mournful squealing of a captive king. 

He finds no sleep, no spouse, no child, no friend

Alone beneath a blanket, waiting for the end.


And when at last it's done, the long sad night

He closes both his eyes against the light

To spare himself; he cannot bear the dawn

Now throne and crown and kingdom all are gone.


Thus lives King John, in courage and in pain

So distant from the wonders of his reign

Let all who pass behold his noble stare 

And know this is a guinea pig - BEWARE!