On a lovely sunny day, no breeze…just sunshine. A rainbow lingers in the distance as the only evidence of the morning’s prior shower. Perfect for an old squirrel to lay outside the tree hole entrance of her home in an improvised hammock. Silence. Not a care in the world, as she watches the clouds float by in the sky with the intent of her favorite television broadcast. So calming, so serene, so…

“Good afternoon, Penelope.” A soft voice hums from down below.

“Indeed, it is.” The squirrel shutters as the recognition that her solitary peace is no more.

“Have you seen, Doc?” Asked the shiny coated cocker spaniel. Her curls so brilliantly shimmering they reflected the sun’s beams.

“He went to the park with Jeffrey and Annie soon after you left for your visit to see B.” Penelope answered.

“I didn’t see B today.” Darling corrected before she moved closer to the tree’s trunk and continued, “I actually – ”

“Ohhh, that’s great, las.” Penelope abruptly interrupted. “Sounds AMAZING! I’m sure you were the envy of all the poodles in the mall but if you’ll excuse me I’m expecting a nimbus cloud that looks like Jeffrey’s dad that time his pants fell down to his ankles and made him fall off the porch.” She turns to her side and puts her gaze down to the young pup. “It was hilarious!” She says through a slight laugh.

Penelope grew quiet a moment and observed Darling. “Hmmm, something’s different about you, las.”

“Oh, you noticed.” Darling blushed. “I got a trim. I know it’s little off schedule but -”

“No, it’s not that.” Penelope rebutted. She took another look and stroked her chin in examination before she realized, “Hey, where’s your necklace?!”

Darling gasped and clutched her neck. “My pendant!” She panicked. “My chain’s gone.” She stressed as she looked around searching her surroundings. “I’ve lost my necklace!!” She cried out.

“Easy, Darling. Take a breath.” Penelope suggested over Darling’s whimpers, as the pup started to pace. “Retrace your steps. Where’d you go? What’d you do? You may have just dropped it during your errands.”

Darling laid flat with her face in the ground. “My errands?! Oh no! I did so many things it could be gone forever!” She tried to catch her breath through her tears and whimpers. “I loved that necklace.”

“Couldn’t you just get another one?” Asked the nescient squirrel.

“ANOTHER ONE?!?” Darling shouted in appalled. “I can’t believe you would even – ” Darling paused and looked at Penelope in disappointment before she continued. “I forgot who I was talking to…you wouldn’t understand.”

Penelope slunk down out of her hammock, front paws first followed by her hind legs, continuously looking in Darling’s direction. “Alright, las. I may like my quiet time and a good cloud formation but I know an heirloom when I see one.”

The tears from Darling’s eyes stopped and her whimpers seized as she looked towards Penelope in impending hope.

“Let me grab a few things and we will get right on the case.” Penelope said as she jumped in the tree’s opening.

“WE?!” Asked the shocked Darling.

“Yes, WE!” Penelope responded as she bolted out of the hole and spiraled down the tree to the ground. “I can’t let you do this by yourself. Besides, I’ve cracked many-a-mystery in my day.”

“Thanks, Penelope!” Darling jumped in excitement with her tail wagging and drenched tongue out as she approached Penelope.

Penelope jumped back to the base of the tree with her arms out “Don’t you even dare think about licking me!” She warned. “Or I’m going BACK to my clouds and this deal’s off!”

Darling stopped, gave a smirk and silent nod in agreement.

“And save your thanks until that necklace is back home where it belongs.” The squirrel argued while she stood next to Darling’s shoulder. “Now let’s get started. I may eventually regret asking this but -” Penelope takes a deep breath and with a heavy heart asked, “Darling, how was your day?”

Darling smiled with a grin from ear to ear and stated “C’mon, I’ll show ya!” As she scurried out of the yard with Penelope following in tow.

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