Snippets Thirty Two...
We were having a quiet evening at home. Patrick - a few days before his 8th birthday at the time - was spending the weekend. There was a fire in the hearth, a platter of sweet treats on the coffee table, wine for Cowboy, and hot cocoa for Patrick.
Cowboy and I were on the sofa in front of the fire, Patrick on the rug leaning on the Mastiff's back. The Rott was curled up at his feet. Both cats were on the back of the sofa and I was just nodding off...
"How did you meet Cowboy?" Patrick asked out of the blue.
A few seconds went by...
"The stork brought him," I said with a perfectly straight face, ignoring the choking sound Cowboy made as he sputtered into his wineglass.
"Really?" The boy was wide-eyed.
"Yep. Big bird dropped him on my porch, a puny sized sailor."
"How did you know he was a sailor?" the inquisitive child asked.
"He was in uniform."
Some unintelligible muttering followed from the giant squid sitting next to me.
I continued the fable.
"I fed him and fattened him up," I smiled, patting Cowboy's belly. "You can see he's a big fellow now."
The big fellow continued to mutter, quieter this time. I think I heard words like "wait till I get you alone, imp," and "when the boy goes to bed..."
"Did a stork really bring you?" the persistent child wanted to know. "Weren't you too big to carry?"
"She's just teasing you, son. What happened was... I saw Sar dancing down a busy street. She didn't have a lot of clothes on so I scooped her up and took her home before somebody took a notion to..."
"Cowboy!" I stopped him before he said something naughty in front of about-to-be-8-years old Patrick."
Patrick nodded his head in understanding, though. Once, when I was dancing naked under a full moon and Patrick was visiting and allegedly asleep... he saw me. At first he thought it had been a dream but he mentioned it at breakfast the next day...
"You saw her dance last night?" Cowboy asked. "Out in the backyard?"
"Yep," the child replied around a mouthful of waffles, strawberries and ice cream. "You ought to buy her a sweater or something to wear at night," he added nonchalantly. "Sar could catch cold out there. All she had on were these really long socks."
Out of the mouths of babes.
Neither one of us commented except to say "Who wants more ice cream?"
"So what happened after you took her home?" the boy about-to-be-8-years old but going on 30, wanted to know.
"Well," Cowboy hummed. "I liked the way she danced so I figured if I took her home, she could dance for me."
I rolled my eyes.
"Sar dances good," Patrick intoned.
"She dances very prettily to my tunes now," the man I married - descended from Neanderthal stock, announced. "...or else."
"Or else?" Patrick, ever diligent to Cowboy's words, asked.
I pinched the giant squid.
Before he could answer Patrick's question, I casually mentioned that the entire peach crop on all of the West coast had died. "And it's gonna stay dead for years to come!" I predicted. Then I grabbed one of my black & white cookies off the platter and stuffed it in the Neanderthal's mouth.
The game of 'twenty questions' followed.
"Did you hug her when you caught her?"
"Sure did," Cowboy replied, trying not to choke on the cookie I stuffed in his mouth.
"Did you kiss her when you got her home?" Patrick wanted to know.
"Of course I did," Cowboy answered, his mouth still full of black & white cookie.
"Don't talk with your mouth full," I admonished.
The Neanderthal chuckled. He was enjoying this man-to-boy bonding that was happening.
I immediately made plans to get even...
"Did you kiss her two times?"
"More than that," Cowboy smiled. "That's not all I did, either."
"What else?" The boy was sitting straight up now and so were both dogs.
"Welllll," he drawled. "I don't want to embarrass Sar so I'll just whisper in your ear." And with that, the giant squid slid to the rug and held Patrick's head close to his and said what he had to say.
Both of my dogs love Patrick as much as they love me...
I watched Cowboy continue to whisper in Patrick's ear. "Watch Patrick," I said softly.
Both dogs went into immediate action. The Mastiff pushed his giant head between Cowboy and Patrick and showed off his pearly whites - lips back so all his ultra-large teeth showed. The Rott did a "wundersprung" (jumping off the floor - 4 legs straight down - a Rott warning that the boy is being guarded by the dog and under its protection) and a soft growl.
Cowboy directed a glare in my direction.
I helped myself to a giant black & white cookie.
"Gonna make you dance later, imp," someone bigger than me announced.
"Did you really make Sar eat Brussels Sprouts and fiddle heads when you took her home?" a curious little boy asked.
"Now, son," Cowboy intoned as he stood. "That was supposed to be a secret."
"Brussels Sprouts and fiddle heads? As if!" And then I laughed ... and called off the dogs.
Not much later Cowboy tucked a sleepy Patrick into bed and came back to the sofa. I had polished off most of the black & white cookies and was drinking his wine. I was feeling mellow, the fire was making me sleepy, the wine had made me a little goofy and the disappearing cookies had filled me up.
"Brussels Sprouts?" I asked. "Green uglies?"
"Did you want me to tell him I spanked you and from there, things got even more interesting?"
"That didn't happen the first time we went out," I reminded him.
"Could have sworn it did," he said.
"Tsk. Didn't even let you kiss me until we had gone out at least a dozen times."
"Four times," he corrected. "And you didn't exactly let me kiss you. I grabbed you and kissed you before you could object."
"Such a naughty sailor you are!"
"Remember my birthday kiss?"
Cowboy's birthday occurred a few weeks after we met.
"I remember vague details," I replied.
"Let me remind you," the naughty squid chuckled.
"Here? In front of the fire? And the dogs?"
"Get rid of the dogs."
I did... and it was a superb reminder of that birthday celebration upteen years ago. Cowboy has a flair for re-enacting the most wonderful memories.
I'm going to make sure he recalls the details of every one of those memories tonight.
Buon compleanno, Happy Birthday, Squidlet!