What Joy

Tiny Miss Peacock waited for a whale to take her to Europe. She’d never been, but was certain it existed. A seahorse would not do.

When Tiny Miss Whale arrived, Miss Peacock alighted on her back. Miss Whale, possessed of a terrific fondness for ravioli, swam them to Italy.

“Like a boot,” Miss Peacock gasped.

“Like a boot,” Miss Whale agreed.

They stood startled by their own voices, taking each other in for the first time. Miss Peacock on the shore, Miss Whale in the water.

Miss Peacock could not remember ever having blinked so much. Miss Whale could not stop the tap tapping of her tail.

Blink blink. Tap tap.

“Anything more I should know?” Miss Peacock asked, a touch dizzy and forgetting to add, “about this place?”

Miss Whale stared long across the water, weighing the things to know and not know. “The sea is unspeakably large,” she said, her smile tender with a tiny sadness.

A surprising heaviness settled in Miss Peacock’s feet. She took a deep breath, shivered the weight from her legs.

“Like love,” Miss Peacock said.

“Like love,” Miss Whale agreed.