Penny’s First Word

For Jane Dougherty’s Sunday Strange Challenge based on this painting by Ford Madox Brown.


Painting by Ford Madox Brown – Pretty Baa-Lambs

“Pretty Baa-Lambs” her mother said, “baa, baa, baa. Penny can you say it? What do the pretty lambs say?”

Penny was not having it. Her mother called her stubborn. Maybe she was, but Penny did not like this new game her mother always wanted to play.

“Momma,” her Mother would say, leaning in closer, eyes bulging, mouth puckering, smacking the syllables in a grotesque litany of sound bites, “Maaa…mmm…aaa…mAAA…mmmm…AAA.”

It was a never-ending battle. Everything, it seemed had a name. There was a word for each want. “Why wasn’t crying and cooing enough? It had always worked in the past. What was it with these people?” Penny thought to herself as she continued her resistance.

Then one day she heard a lovely word. An amazing word! It was not her mother, but her father who uttered it loud and clear for Penny to hear.

“I like that word.” Penny thought. She decided to say her new favorite word the next time her mother started one of her sound-it-out-say-it, ‘momma’ rants.

For her very first word, Penny smiled innocently at her mother, eyes wide with excitement, as she curled her tongue back and set her top two teeth into a perfect overbite…”FUCK!”

Penny had never seen her mother react so. It was wonderful! So wonderful, she repeated it over and over again, “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” She was a proud baby that day. Very proud indeed!

~kat – 23 March 2017

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