“Dear Missy + Rocky,”

Farm pals

“Missy! Rocky! Come ‘er!” Marica hollered.

Missy and Rocky jumped from the bed and ran into the kitchen. “What is it, Marica?” Missy asked. “What is it?”

“Ruff? Ruff?” asked Rocky.

“You’ve got mail!” Marica said.

“Ruff?!?”

“Really?!? We have mail! Oh my goodness! Oh my!” Missy said excitedly while spinning around in circles. “Who’s it from? Who’s it from?” Missy was positively Bebe-like in her enthusiasm.

“Well, see for yourselves,” Marica said as she held out the envelope.

You’ve got mail!*

“Oh my. Oh dear. Where are my reading glasses?” Missy squinted at the envelope. “Oh! Why, why! That’s Bebe’s hand writing! I would know it anywhere! Oh please, Dear Friend, help me find my glasses.”

“Ruff,” Rocky said as he trotted off to search through the clutter on Missy’s desk. He returned momentarily and dropped them at her paws. “Ruff.”

“Oh! Thank you so much, Dear Friend. This is so exciting! A letter from Bebe!” Missy said slipping on her glasses, and looking more carefully at the envelope said, “Oh! And I see it’s from the good ‘Ole Retired Hippy Fellow Gil, too! This is all too exciting! I don’t believe we’ve ever gotten a letter, have we, Dear Friend? And one from Bebe and Gilbert! I wonder what they have to say?”

“Ruff. Ruff,” suggested Rocky.

“Rocky’s right, Missy,” Marica said. “Why don’t you open it and see what they have to say?”

“Oh, yes, yes! Where is my pearl-handled letter opener? The one you gave me for Christmas, Marica. Where have I placed it? I’ve never had to use it before to open a letter. This is so exciting. Where can it be? Oh my!” It was as if the mere mention of Bebe– after her short absence– took Missy back to her own days of wild puppihood abandon.

“R.U.F.F.”

“Missy, calm down,” Marica said. “Here. Give it to me, please. I’ll open it.” Marica took her pocket knife from her pocket, opened the envelope, and handed the pages to Missy.

“Oh! Would you look at this!” Missy exclaimed. “It’s hand written in Gilbert’s best handwriting!”

“Rrrrrruuuuufffff….,” Rocky warned.

“No need to get testy, Dear Friend,” Missy countered and began, “Dear Missy and Rocky, I am Bebe sp… speaking to you… through… … (cough) Jil… no no… Gil… Gilbert.”

“Ruff?”

“What’s wrong, Missy?” Marica asked.

“Oh my, Marica. Gilbert has such beautiful handwriting, but I’m embarrassed to say that I am not flatulent in reading cursive,” Missy said. “Would you mind, Marica?”

Marica was so touched by Missy’s humility that she didn’t say a word about ‘flatulent’ and instead said, “I’d love to read Bebe and Gilbert’s letter to you. Come on, let’s go into the living room.”

And so, when they were all settled– Rocky on the hearth pillow, Missy on The Couch, and Marica in Mr. Big Food’s Chair– Marica began to read the letter to Missy + Rocky in MS from Bebe + Gil in NC.

*It’s a sheep stamp. Get it?

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