but it can’t be pregnant because they are both females. At least, that is what we were told a year and a half ago. Meanwhile,  for the last couple of weeks, one of the pair has been seen eating a lot more than usual and is now a lot chubbier than usual. Till now the other one has been as likely to get to the food dish first. However, these days we have one gerbil who is first, second and last in the queue – even waking up at unusual times for a quick snack. Now, the mid-sleep break for quick chomp of an extra seed has been known to happen from time to time, but “Chubby” (not its real name) here has been doing so rather more frequently.

The gestation period for gerbils is 24/25 days (apparently) but, as we do not know when this pregnancy started, birth could be any day now or not for another week or so. The alternative explanation for the noticeable increase in size is that “Chubby” has suddenly become greedy and/or we have been over feeding them but there have been occasions when they have given the impression that they have found an empty dish and are eager to be fed. Not sure how intelligent these creatures are so the bumping of the dish may mean no more than they are shifting something around in their gerbilarium (yes, I think that is what artificial pet gerbil homes are called) that happens to be in their way.

In a couple of weeks’ time we may have to look at putting “Chubby” on a diet. Quite how we do that without separating it from its companion we don’t know – and would really prefer not to try.

I don’t know what theology might be relevant here. There is something in Genesis about  God telling human beings to take care of the world we are fortunate to live in. However, I don’t think in our household, at least, that we have exactly ‘mastered’ gerbils.

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