Lady Penelope Goes to Town | By Sarah Wallis
The sizable goat in the front seat of the car is wild eyed at being allowed into my strange world, especially after I chased her out of the wardrobe chowing on my late mother’s silk kimono. I talk her down off the ceiling now, into her seat and buckle her belt, Lady Penelope, safe stowed, and as she whines to see more I say in my best Parker imitation,
‘Where to ma’am?’
I lower the window and tell her of adventures we will have in an orange and white campervan called Mollydeane, not what we travel in now, my Dad’s muddy old Landie down the twisting dry stone walled lanes to the faster roads, and so I go slow for now - as if she’s a worried pensioner, doubting my control of the vehicle. She calms, eventually sticks her head out the window like a Labrador, tongue lolling in the breeze and so misses my elaborate tales of European trains we might catch, to Venice why not, why not and of night fishing, sailing under the star canopy, why not, why not, oh for we should travel, go far, even further... see the world, look into a pet passport for a goat on a boat, dreaming until a lorry streaks by with a hand on the horn.
Lady Penelope screams and draws in her head to glare at me, hisses like the geese she’s heard give good scram in the yard and we settle down bleating back and forth conversational goat garble, it’s the best laugh in town, until we get there and her ears waggle, waggle, waggle at all the people, waving to them like the queen she is and the people record her on their phones to upload later.
‘It’s. A. Goat. OMG. Did you see the Goat?!’
Lady Penelope settles back in the seat, hooves tucked in tidy under her and trusting, so trusting, she enters this new world with her human companion, almost humming.
Sarah Wallis is a writer based in Scotland, UK. Recent work is at Trampset, Lunate and Abridged (Nyx issue) online and in print journals Finished Creatures (Stranger issue) and The Alchemy Spoon (Metal issue). A chapbook, Medusa Retold, is available from @fly_press and she tweets @wordweave.