A guinea pig who defied the odds to survive is now the star of a children’s book which is raising money for the charity that helped to rehome him.

Charles the guinea pig stars as one of the main characters in a book written by his owner, Elizabeth Flinn, 52, and her seven-year-old-neighbour Isobel Gallagher, who both live near Amersham.

The book – Adventurous Guinea Pigs Visit the Stone Age – features Charles, who Dr Flinn rehomed from pet charity Blue Cross in 2017, as well as Isobel’s guinea pigs Sausage and Ginger.

The pair wrote the book during lockdown last year, each writing alternate chapters and emailing them across the road to each other, and decided profits from the sales would go to the Blue Cross.

Speaking about her guinea pigs, Dr Flinn said: “Charles has overcome some serious health problems.

“He had an internal abscess which we thought would kill him, but he has made a full recovery on his own – he’s my miracle boy.

Sadly, [his former partner] Hetty passed away but Charles is quite the ladies man and has settled into life with his new companion Radish.

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“They’ve been great companions during lockdown and I’ve been known to read the book out loud to them while it was coming along.”

The story begins when the four guinea pigs find a flying basket.

The basket takes them to the Stone Age where they must outwit a sabre-soother tiger twice, on their hunt for cave paintings.

Dr Flinn, who has taught for 20 years and now teaches other teachers, said: “I don’t know where the idea for the book came from.

“I remember Isobel’s parents had mentioned she had guinea pigs, but suddenly, I had two chapters written and I sent these to Isobel to see if she wanted to help carry on the story.

“Isobel came up with the story being set in the Stone Age and added details like the cave paintings as this is what they’d been learning about in school.

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“We enjoyed writing the story so much as we didn’t know what was coming next as we shared the story between us.

“Once finished we wanted to share it, so we decided to self-publish and that the profits from the sales would go to Blue Cross to help other guinea pigs like Charles and other pets in their care.”

The book, which has so far raised more than £100 for Blue Cross, is available from www.thecraftydodo.co.uk.