Third-graders find a miracle

Katelyn Rodriguez and her guinea pig are surrounded by her classmates from Kathy Mouse’s Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School third-grade class. The students helped their classmate find the lost animal last week.

Little Maggie the guinea pig, just two months old, did not expect an outing at the primary school playground to turn into a night in the woods.

Maggie’s owner of two days, Katelyn Rodriguez, a third-grade student at Greencastle-Antrim Elementary School, brought her pet to the school campus to play. They were accompanied by a friend with her own guinea pig, and the friend’s mother.

Katelyn was cradling Maggie while swinging, but the little creature suddenly jumped free and ran into the woods.

That’s when the panic set in for Katelyn, and most likely for Maggie. The trio of humans searched for a long time for the docile, furry rodent. They reluctantly gave up when darkness fell.

Then the Rodriguez family got involved. The little girl was still hysterical. Her mother Brandi said, “She was screaming and crying. It was awful.”

They returned to the school grounds to hunt. The search was not easy in the rain and brambles. They shone flashlights, hoping to catch the glitter of Maggie’s eyes. At 11 p.m. they called it quits.

Friday Katelyn was still upset, and her teacher, Kathy Mouse, promised the class they could go on a nature hike if they handled a test well. As they left the school they notified the administration office of their mission. The response was not encouraging. “They said, ‘You’ll never find it,’” said Mouse.

The students spread out in the wooded area and braved the jagger bushes in search of a lonely and frightened Maggie.

Cole Hummer spotted her blending against a tree. But, as could be expected when over 20 excited children start descending, Maggie fled.

“She was scared to death,” said Mouse.

The guinea pig managed to run the length of the woods before Braylen DeShong caught her. “Dallas (Dutrow) blocked her for me,” he said modestly.

Katelyn was ecstatic, Maggie must have been relieved to be safe again, and the rescue crew was happy, despite many scratches on their legs and arms.

Monday the students were rewarded with ice cream treats from the Rodriguez family and Maggie stopped in for a visit. Ah, make that Miracle. Katelyn gave her a new name.