His wife’s threatening outburst disrupted Phineas’s otherwise peaceful newspaper reading.
“I’ve had it, Phineas!” Freda bellowed from the kitchen. “What are YOU going to do about Penelope?”
Cautiously lowering the newspaper, he glanced around. He recognized his wife’s exasperation. Freda Fimple was not happy, and that wasn’t good for him.
“What’s Penelope done now?” Phineas asked, not really wanting an answer.
“She’s gotten into the pantry again.”
“Just put a lock on it, then,” Phineas suggested raising his newspaper.
In total frustration, Freda stomped into the living room. Phineas peered over the newspaper just wanting to read it in peace. Freda stood three feet away from Phineas, her arms akimbo, her right foot tapping.
“You’re the man of the house, Phineas,” she declared. “YOU can put the lock on the pantry, and do it before dinner, or else!” She stormed out of the room.
Phineas sat there, newspaper in hand, staring out the window when Penelope entered the room. Freda had quickly ushered her out of the kitchen with the snap of a towel. Penelope went and sat by Phineas. He put his hand on her shoulder.
“She’s not happy today, Penelope,” he told her, patting her head. “You’re my special girl, but you’ll have to be good and not get into the pantry again.”
Penelope looked at him with her bring brown eyes then rested her head on his lap.
While Freda reorganized her pantry with vigor and noise, Phineas got ready for work. His job, although monotonous at times, gave him a much-needed break from Freda.
“Freda,” he called from the front door. “I’ll take care of things tonight when I get home from work.”
“Unless I resolve the problem first!” Freda retorted.
Phineas ignored her insolence. She’s going to drive me crazy yet. Getting into his car he headed to his quiet, peaceful office where he meticulously handled the company’s accounts.
It wasn’t that Phineas put things off. He was always prompt to have accurate reports completed on time. He was an extremely diligent worker and loyal employee who made his boss very happy.
At five o’clock sharp the whistle blew and the day crew began their exodus. Phineas had been so busy all day that he hadn’t even thought about Freda and the problem he faced at home. He picked up his briefcase and coat, anxious to get home and eat dinner, and put a lock on the pantry, and then hopefully, enjoy a quiet evening.
The smell of Freda’s delicious homemade biscuits greeted him when he came through the front door and knew Freda had gotten over being upset.
Phineas headed to the kitchen, gave Freda a kiss on the cheek, and sat down at the dinner table.
Freda smiled as she dished up their plates. “I’ve made a special dinner for you,” she informed him.
Phineas smiled and took a bite. “This is delicious, Freda,” he said and then quickly added, “I’ll take care of Penelope’s problem after dinner.”
“That’s all right, Phineas,” she replied. “I already took care of it.”
Phineas looked up, shrugged his shoulders, and continued enjoying every bite of the delicious ham and biscuit dinner Freda had made. He was thoroughly savoring every morsel until something caught in his throat.
Frantically waving his arms and pointing to his throat, he squeaked out “Help!” She pointed to the glass of water by his plate. He grabbed it, tried gulping it down, but something was still lodged in his throat. Finally, with one hard cough, he spit out Penelope’s collar tag.
Phineas stared at it in disbelief. “Oh, Penelope, my precious little pig!”
Freda smiled and continued eating.