Do not tell my sons that I am about to write a column on Merlin the guinea pig, they think I am a literary critic in a leading Swiss daily. I remember very well the meal where I had shared my idea, happily in addition. It was several weeks ago. If I had announced that I was launching a YouTube channel to extol the merits of acrobatic rock or disco old school with supporting demonstrations, the effect would not have been different. Loud cries and maximum depression in my two older teenagers. Shame was going to befall me and instantly make me lose my job. And then, our guinea pig came under our strict family intimacy, no question of lifting the veil on this aspect of our life. They made me swear that I was not going to carry out my plan. I saw that they only half believed in my renunciation.
November 2016. The day was falling, it was raining heavily. It must have been a Wednesday. My younger son came back for the 100th time on his desire to have a guinea pig. I gave in. On a whim. At the time, I haven’t analyzed anything. Here I am at the wheel of the car, my son a little dumbfounded in the back, rushing just before the shops close to a pet store in an industrial area. Sinister atmosphere, needless to say. “Where are the animals?” The tone I use towards the first employee to appear on the shelves is close to that of Jack Bauer in 24 Hours chrono. “There are no more animals here, ma’am. You have to go to the other side of the border. ” For a brief moment, I wavered. But nothing could stop me. Neither the rain nor the night. We went to France. And we brought Merlin back.