With National Pet Month upon us, I thought it would be a good time to interview the animals in my Children of the Light Series. When I mentioned such to my furry and feathery characters, Penelope pushed her way through the crowd and insisted she be first.
“After all,” she said, laying her hand across her breast, “I am introduced before the others.”
Had I actually created her with a voice that sounded like a cross between Mae West and Scarlett Johannsen? What was I thinking? I raised my finger in protest. “Actually, Blossom the Cow is introduced first.” Both Penelope and Blossom are first introduced in Keeping Secrets, and Penelope reappears in the following book Breaking Promises.
“Is Blossom introduced first?” Penelope snarked. “Well, you should have fixed that while you had the chance.”
I stifled the sneeze at the feather tickling my nose and pushed the wing to the side.
“At any rate,” she continued, “I will be the first interviewed, for I was the most important.”
The other animals grumbled and stepped back.
“Are you sure about that?” I had no intention of letting a goose get the upper hand, especially this one. “I mean, after all, Blossom dies and that is what gets Mary McKechnie and Amon Cayle get back together again.”
“No matter, darling, I am holding onto a very important secret that comes out at the end.” She settled into the chair beside my desk. “Besides, I live longer. You know why?”
I shook my head.
“I don’t go walking into muddy bogs.”
I let that snide comment about Blossom’s demise slide. My computer, now fired up, was ready with an open file for the interview. I sat to my chair. “Very well, if you insist, Penelope, we will start our interviews this month with you. Now, as you said, you did live longer than Blossom the cow. Tell me, were you upset by your character’s demise in Breaking Promises?”
“Hardly, darling.” She scowled. “The real tragedy was my mistresses’ passing. Now THAT was upsetting.” The goose’s long neck snaked forward. “I hear you cried a great deal at my passing though.”
“Well, yes,” I mumbled. “I cry a lot when I write something sad, but this interview is not about me. So let’s move on, shall we?”
“As you wish, darling.”
“Now, what was your favorite scene in The Children of the Light Trilogy?”
“That’s easy. My death scene. That was a fine piece of acting, although I must admit, laying my wing at a misshapen angle from the rest of my body did hurt me for sometime afterwards.”
“I’m sorry about that,” I mumbled again. “And don’t forget, that fine acting came with some fine writing.”
“Oh please, my dear. You know well enough I never did what I was supposed to, but pretty much took over every scene I was in.”
I cleared my throat. Who was running this interview anyhow? “You did take some creative license with your character I will admit. Now, by the time you are introduced in the story, you were already an aging duck.”
“And whose fault is that?”
“How did you come to live with the Langdons?”
The sigh swelled her neck. “My mum died when I was a youngling, and one day I saw Master William walking across the fields. He smiled at me, and as my mistress was want to say – his smile held the hope of the world and me in it. See, Mistress thought that smile was meant for her, but really, it was for me.”
“Uh, Penelope, Huldah and William were not married at the time he did so, so just how old are you? Or, perhaps you are a bit mixed up about the smile?”
She splayed her wings and reared to her webbed feet. “Me? Mixed up?” Her neck jutted across the keyboard. “Watch those fingers, missy, and I never get mixed up.” She settled back to her seat. “And for your information, a Pilgrim Goose, such as I, can live up to 25 years, especially if they keep slim and trim as do I.”
“I am aware of how long a Pilgrim goose can live. I did the research, remember? And, by the time you are in the story, Huldah and William had been married nearly 50 years.”
“No matter.” She flung a wing to one hip and lifted her beak in the air. “I just hold my age well. Move on to the next question.”
“Hmmm…. Alright. Speaking of slim and trim, how do you keep your figure? You seem to have a nicer bed than most geese and you do enjoy sleeping in it.”
“Master William made that bed for me. He did it in order to get me out of his bed. After all, threes a crowd, even if one is a beloved goose. At first, I had no intention of using it, but then, he kicked me out of the room and locked the door! So, in the end, I decided my own bed nearby was a far better place to be.”
“You seem to be awfully partial to Master William. Were you upset when he passed on?”
“Oh my. I cried for days, darling. But, in the end, Mistress Huldah needed me, so I could no longer afford my pity. You see, she was more distraught than I. They had a hard beginning, and never took advantage of the moments they had together. I often heard stories of those early times.”
“Uh, Penelope, you just said you were around during those early times. So you would not have had to hear stories, but would have lived them.”
“Well, I never. Is this an interview or an inquisition?”
“I am merely pointing out–”
“And I am merely finished. I have some swimming to do in our pond.”
“We don’t have a pond.”
“Then I’ll be in our lake.”She hopped off the chair. “Bloossssooommmmmm!”
Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all.
And no, I didn’t remind her the lake didn’t belong to her either.