The Mr Peabody and Sherman movie is owned by DreamWorks and I make no profit off this unauthorized parody.
The kind of man that a dog would be proud of.
Mr Peabody walked onto the blue mats of his home gymnasium. A saber was tucked under one arm and he was dressed in a white padded fencing suit. His opponent was already waiting for him, a tall and athletic young man in a fencing suit with the face screen down stood at the ready line.
Mr Peabody took a moment to put on his own face screen, a custom made one that fit his beagle face, then took his place. Dog and man then crossed blades in a sign of the utmost respect for one another, then a heartbeat later vicious battle was joined.
The young man had the advantages of height, strength and reach but Peabody was still a bit faster, had more experiences and with his small build was a harder target to hit.
Again and again the man's blade reached out for Peabody as fast as a viper but it was always just turned away. Feet and paws stomped down heavily on the mats as opponents spun and wheeled around each other. So far Mr Peabody's defense was holding but he could not get any offensive going.
As always when they spared Mr Peabody would have to wait for an opening to counter attack.
Mr Peabody lunged but the opening was nothing but a clever feint. The man leaped from his feet into a spinning jump as Mr Peabody's sword just missed him. While still airborne the man lashed out with a powerful slash that almost knocked Mr Peabody off his paws. The man's feet had just reconnected with the ground when he pushed his advantage.
Mr Peabody could feel his guard failing as his mind calculated that he would soon run out of room to backpedal. Like a chess master seeing the end of a game even a dozen moves away, Peabody knew this match was over for him.
That was when he saw someone out of the corner of his eye. A young woman with long blond hair just waiting discreetly along a wall.
Mr Peabody lowed his guard completely and spreed his arms in a welcoming gesture. "Ah, young Ms Peterson! To what do we own the honor."
The young man stopped mid wining thrust and turned his head. "Penny?"
Penny Peterson waved hello to the young man and that was when he felt a sword point against his chest.
Peabody's opponent looked for the sword point on his chest down to the dog who held said sword.
"Argh!" was all the young man said with a very familiar groan of exasperation.
"Is that how you acknowledge the end of a match?" Mr Peabody asked as he removed his mask and raised a canine eyebrow.
Sherman pulled off removed his fencing mask as well and wiped some of his sweat slicked red hair from his brow. Father and son took a moment to salute each other with their blades before walking off the mat together.
At seventeen years old Sherman was growing into the young man Mr Peabody always knew he would be. A boy who's teachers included the greatest Greek philosophers and finest Arabic mathematicians. Music lessons from famous classical composers to legendary jazz musicians. Literature classes from all the masters of the written word from Shakespeare to Hemingway. Sherman also had a sense of honor and righteousness that was forged by the warrior kings of Europe and tempered by ancient Japaneses samurai.
More then anything Sherman had a kind and honest heart thanks to his loving and devoted father.
Penny smiled apolitically as she properly greeted Sherman. "I hope my being here didn't distract you Sherman."
As much as Sherman had grown into a fine and handsome young man, Penny had matured to a beautiful young woman. She had become that rare kind of girl in this cynical age of ours that builds up her peers instead of tearing them down. Penny was a treasured and true friend to many and respected by all who knew her.
Sherman shook his head as Penny handed him a bottle of water. "I have never been distracted by your being around me."
"All evidence to the contrary, Sherman." Mr Peabody said as his son blushed.
Penny was quick to jump to Sherman's defense. "Don't you think that was an unfair trick you pulled on Sherman?"
"My dear it was Sherman's own fault for letting his concentration slip in the critical moment. Besides your not one who should talk about 'unfair tricks'. What was it in middle school? You said you and Sherman had a joint research project on the Renaissance. So we used the WABAC machine to travel to Renaissance Venice and all you two researched were romantic moonlight gondola rides."
Penny folded her arms and huffed. "Your never going to forget that will you Mr Peabody."
Sherman pulled Penny into his arms and kissed her. "I'll never forget that night either." He then remember that his fencing suit was far less then spring fresh. "oh, sorry. I'm kind of sweaty right now."
Penny hugged Sherman back and then kissed him. "I don't mind your sweat one bit."
"Well I still can't go out with you like this. Let me change clothes and freshen up a bit."
"Don't keep me waiting too long." Penny said as she turned around and headed for the living area of the penthouse.
"It's impossible for me to keep you waiting too long Penny. After all I have a time machine."
"No, your father has a time machine that he sometimes let's you use with supervision."
Mr Peabody bowed politely at Penny's words. "Thank you for clarifying that for Sherman my dear."
Sherman looked slightly upset but didn't talk back to his father, this time at lest.
Sherman was at that age when testing limits was natural and he had clashed with his father over many things, most of them trivial but some far less so.
The worst had been when Sherman refused to skip the last few years high school and enroll in collage. He was that smart enough for it and Mr Peabody thought it was clearly in the boy's best interest. Sherman felt that staying close to the friends he made (and Penny but he didn't say it) outweighed an early start to collage.
For two weeks slammed door and the sound of silence reigned in the Peabody household.
It was one of the rare moments that Mr Peabody was mistaken and shamefully it took him sometime to realize this. Mr Peabody had gone through his scholastic endeavors alone. Humans however were by their nature, and far more so then dogs in this way, social pack animals. Sherman had many friends and in Penny he found a girl he loved with all his heart. He had loved her even long before Shakespeare taught Sherman how to put those feeling for Penny into words.
(And nothing get's you over the 'He's just a friend' barrier like giving a girl sonnets that you learned to compose at the feet of The Bard himself.)
Mr Peabody came to realize that it would be as horrible to remove Sherman from those friends as it would have been to have Sherman removed form Mr Peabody's life. Father had apologized to Son and Sherman forgive Mr Peabody in an instant.
Sherman put his saber away and was about to run up to his room and change when Mr Peabody stopped him. "Sherman, just what are your plans with Penny tonight?"
"Nothing much, most likely just dinner and a movie."
Mr Peabody's eyes narrowed with some healthy fatherly suspicion. "That all sounds rather nebulous and undefined."
"We're not going backwards through time Mr Peabody. We're just out on the town so you don't have to worry."
"I'm your father Sherman so I do have to worry. For my sake keep your cellphone with you and be home before curfew. That's not at curfew or a little after curfew but before curfew."
It was on the tip of Sherman's tongue to say something about being kept on a short leash when he stopped, thought about it and then nodded his head wearily. "Alright, alright, Mr Peabody. If it will put you at easy I'll keep my cellphone on and return any calls you make and I promise to be home by 9:00."
"Very good Sherman and one last thing before you go. Remember to have fun tonight."
Sherman waved over his shoulder as he went to get ready for his first normal date with Penny. That's not to say that they hadn't gone out before but it was usually on some adventure though time with Mr Peabody as a chaperon. So how romantic can you get with a girl when your dad is always right behind you?
It was Admiral Zheng He who finally pulled Mr Peabody aside and told him that he was 'third-wheeling' it big time. Obviously those had not been the Chinese Admiral's exact words but the meaning was close enough.
Mr Peabody knew he'd have to step out of the way and trust Sherman in this matter.
Of course Mr Peabody had every confidence in Sherman and a great deal of trust in his son as well. So much so that, unbeknownst to Sherman and Penny, Mr Peabody had started making plans for his eventual grandchildren. Just small things so far like research into what kinds of music are best for prenatal music therapy.
Not that Mr Peabody wanted to add undo expectations or pressure to the young couple. In fact he hoped that such an happy event was still a many good number of years away but it's never too soon to start planing.
Yet as a scientist and as a historian Mr Peabody knew that sometimes it's best if you just got out of the way and let nature run it's course.
And in there was the greatest lesson that Sherman had ever taught Mr Peabody.
History and legacy were never about monuments or deeds or words on a page but about children.
Children be they blood or an adoptive relationship it is your children who will carry your legacy into the future.
I saw the Mr Peabody and Sherman movie and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Leaving the theater I couldn't help but wonder what their father and son relationship would look like in another ten years and what kind of young man Sherman would become. So I see Sherman growing up to be a scholar, a poet, an artist a bit of a warrior. I also figure Sherman's overeagerness would temper with age as well as his two left feet.
Thank you for reading and I hope you will leave your own thoughts and comments in a review.