Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
I first published IN WHICH PENELOPE LEARNS TO BARK on Sept. 2, 2016, as we awaited a hurricane. Her writing was not yet the model of perfection that it is now. Her bark was brand new. She barks more now, but I don't mind if the dogs bark. They let me know when strangers are near or if something is not right. If they bark a lot in the backyard, I call them in so they won't bother the neighbors, but I take a look around to make sure everything is okay.
I appreciate my pups.
Infinities of love,
Hello. It is I, Penelope.
Mom Mom and Human Brother say Hurricane might visit. Hurricane's name is Hermine. Mom Mom and Human Brother purchased treats for Hermine to eat. Perhaps I shall receive a treat?
Soon it will be a year since I got in Mom Mom's car and came to live with her and Nice Brother Franklin.
I smile more. I also learned to make noises. Mom Mom inquired of me, When will you start to bark, Penelope?
I thought, Bark? It is on trees. I am not a tree. I am a lady dog.
Then a few weeks ago, our daddy, Willy Dunne Wooters, came in the front door without announcing his presence. I was startled. A noise came out of my throat. Mom Mom said it sounded like a cough, but she thought I attempted a Bark.
I thought more about Bark and decided it is the noise my Nice Brother Franklin makes when he chats with Daisy the dog next door or when Jehovah's Witnesses ring the doorbell. I tried to make the same noise. It would not come out of me.
Human Brother came to our house when I did not expect him. (I do not understand all these uninvited guests: Daddy Wooters, Human Brother, Hermine. House is Mine with Mom Mom and Nice Brother Franklin.) Suddenly Bark came out of me and it grew and grew and before I knew it, Mom Mom said, Why, Penelope! You can Bark and Growl. You will scare away bad people if they come to our house.
I do not know how I make Bark and Growl but somehow I have learned to make Bark and Growl and Mom Mom is pleased. Human Brother does not understand. He thinks I do not like him. I love Human Brother. He helped rescue me when I came to live here and I did not know how to go inside House.
He startles me. Startle makes the Bark and Growl grow in me.
Perhaps I have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Dr. Psychiatrist should be consulted.
Now I choose to nap until Hermine goes gone.