Once upon a time, there lived a little girl named Penelope. She loved to smile and she wore the funniest, quirkiest dresses and little jackets. Penelope loved to go to museums and book stores. One day, she found a marvelous museum that was filled from the floors to the celings with the most amazing things......wooden boats and crates, old metal cars and paintings, puppets, old world globes.....endless oddities and curiosities. Penelope loved to go to the museum early in the morning when noone else was there. She would waunder the halls of this old and and fascinating building until her legs could carry her no more.
One day, she found the hugest book that she had ever seen in her life. It was enormous. It filled an entire room. She decided to see if he put have it put out in the yard; the fix it man and the carpenters of the museum helped her carry it outside. There it sat, out in the driveway, under huge sycamore trees. Everyone wondered why Penelope wanted this huge book set ouside, but it was a fun, curious thing .
Penelope also loved cats. She had seven cats and 10 kittens. She had names for all of them. They were like little children to her. One cat especially was close to her heart. It was Snuggleplum, a funny little cat who liked to perform on little stages and tell stories with his eyes. Penelope cherished Snuggleplum. She hoped and prayed that he would live forever, like her.
In the barn on the farm that Penelope lived in, she had a corner where she kept special things. Her goose, Marebaby, liked to perch up on the shelf where Penelope kept some of her beautiful paintings, little buggy frames and other funny things. Marebaby liked to nest on that shelf; she would sing to her little that were still in the nest. She was a good Mommy.
"Where are you going?" asked a stranger. "Who's talking to me", asked Penelope.....where are you?" Suddenly, Penelope looked up and saw the oddest thing. Someone was stretching their arm out a window and waving to Penelope. They almost looked larger than the building itself. "What are you doing there?" Well, I wanted to say hello to you and tell you that you are going the wrong way. You need to go that way!"
Thank you, sir. Penelope thought it was the oddest experience, but thoughtful.
She was going to an art show that her nephew was showing their work in. It was a delightful show, unique, funny and very quirky, indeed. It was almost like a play or a skit, the way the students performed their paintings! One of the sculptures was the most curious, wondrous objects. Like an anciently discovered piece discovered somewhere in a land far away, this was astonishing to Penelope. She couldn't stop lookng at it, it held such beauty and curiosity.
There, on another day, when Penelope went for a walk.....a gloom seemed to brood over her that day......she walked into a strange curiosity shop. She only remembers to this day, one particular object that truely touched her heart. It was a sleigh, old, tattered, interesting and beautiful. It was filled with old candlesticks and other lovely objects. Penelope stood to see this wonderful thing, not knowing what to think. Why did this object hold such mystery to her? Penelope decided to go outside. The curiosity shop she had been visiting was next door to a lovely park. She quietly went out the door and began walking along the pathway by the tall and beautiful trees. Suddenly she saw the most beautiful bird. Bright yellow, delicate, soft and seemingly the most gentle spirit in a bird she ever sensed. It's song was delightful, charming and unusual. Penelope stood and listened to it for nearly a half hour. Suddenly the little bird turned to Penelope and said......I know where you can go, my dear friend......go to my friend's house and see her lovely things". The little bird told Penelope the way to her friend's house.
Penelope looked through the window of the mysterious house. There, on a shelf sat the most beautiful painting set behind a bright and glittery crown like object. "What an artistic home", Penelope said to herself. She looked further into the room, hoping noone would discover her peering into the window. There on the wall was the most amazing collage. A woman that seemed to be meshed into two beautiful horses.....almost a part of them, she seemed to be a part of their soul. "Amazing!" Penelope said to herself. Further into the room near the hallway, there was a cute little baby buggie, sitting quite alone and charming. Next to it, on a table top, inside the most amazing collaged box, was a funny little creature. Penelope couldn't really tell what kind of an animal it was; "maybe it cat", she thought (since she loved cats so much, but you know that all ready, don't you?!
Then there was an odd purse, a collage of funny objects, curious and beautiful, and what was around the corner??
She could almost see, but then, suddenly, she heard someone coming. She heard the rush and shush of leaves. Penelope hurried around the house and ran as fast as she could down the dusty road. How could she ever get far enough away. She realized she shouldn't really have been there, but what an adventure it was!
Penelope was tired. She walked home past many buildings. She hummed quietly to herself. Then she passed the oddest, most wonderful building. Staring at it, with a grin and a sparkle on her face, someone walked by and smiled, too. Everyone seemed to love that building!
"Hello. What are you looking at, lady?"
"What? Oh, well, just this funny building. Don't you just love it!"
"Yes, it's my grandfather's building. I like to run up and down the stairs. Want to come with me?"
"Ok". So they ran inside and laughing and giggling, started running up and down all the many stairs. How silly they were!! But what fun!
There in a corner was a wonderful place with columns and crowns and amazing tapestries. Then another room that was all painted blue and white. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. Then, another corner filled with labels.....all made from old bits and snippets of fabric. She couldn't read them, but thought they were wonderfully curious.
The little girl with the magnifying glass suddenly appeared at Penelope's side. "Look at this painting". She pointed to an amazing black and white painting with huge trees and a tiny person walking beneath them. So beautiful.
"Thank you my dear child for sharing all this with me. What is your name?"
"It's Miranda. I live here on the top floor. You can come and visit me anytime".
They smiled at one another and laughed and waved goodbye.
What a wonderful day Penelope had that day. She walked home smiling and said hello to everyone she passed by. They looked curiously at her, but as they walked away, they began to smile, too.
It's funny how a smile can change a person's day.