Cannibalism in Oxfordshire

A quiet Oxfordshire village was rocked this week after a resident had both feet eaten by his brother, in a vicious and disturbing act of cannibalism.

“What the fuck?” yelled the man who made the gruesome discovery to his wife who was downstairs being perfect. “Where have Lionel Messi’s feet gone?”

Sure enough the 13 week old gerbil was in possession of two pink stumps where his feet should have been.  His brother, Christiano Ronaldo, was hiding guiltily in the bedding of the cage. “I’ll call the pet shop,” said the very clever and beautiful Mum.

The Pets At Home store which sold the pair of gerbils to the family suggested that they were brought in immediately for the vet to examine them. The vet said that the more dominant and aggressive brother, Ronaldo, had bitten off his brother’s feet. “Messi is very lucky,” said the vet as his legs have healed really well and don’t need any further treatment.

Look, no feet…….

“Not that lucky though, he still had his feet chewed off” thought the sardonic Mum.

Ronaldo really was a little git. He would not allow his brother to feed and he had mean red eyes that were clearly an indicator of his vampiric nature. He had bitten every member of the family (including the perfect Mum) and had recently taking to pouncing on anyone who put their hand inside the cage to clean it. His eight year old owner had tried several techniques to win over the grey gerbil but his efforts at friendship were continually rejected, leaving him in tears.

“You shouldn’t have been sold this gerbil because he is extremely aggressive,” said the pet shop assistant, who said that she would take Ronaldo away and offer him up for adoption. “Would you like to keep Messi alone, or have two new gerbils instead?” she asked.

You see it was not possible to present Messi with a new friend. The territorial nature of the beasts meant that more fighting and cannibalism would likely ensue if a new creature was introduced. It was either take home the gerbil with the stumps or start again with two new siblings.

“I can’t leave Messi, he is like my son,” said the eight year old as he tenderly picked up his little pet. “Can we get him some new toys?” he asked. “How about a coconut house?” said the Dad.

And they all lived happily ever after.

*Pets at Home refunded the family the vet bill of £20.

Saturn devours his son by Franciso Goya

Image attributation: Soerfm (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons











Author: Bernadette Ballantyne

Freelance journalist and former engineer writing for business magazines and blogging about working parent issues

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