Toy Poodles

We whisper more, she tells me, "He is a sad cowboy drowning his sorrow in whiskey." I nod in agreement then pass a hand down over my face revealing a poker face, our signal to play along.

Supper plates stacked away, our girls fixes up a bowl of grapes for us to nibble, I fetch two split size bottles of champagne for us to sip. We go over and sit with her daddy. His girl pats his arm, "Cowboy, you look sad. Tell us what is weighing on your mind, we can help." Our cowboy lifts off his hat, brushes his hair back, plops his hat back down, "I can't." He keeps looking down at his glass of whiskey. My turn, "Sure you can, we're best friends, you can tell us anything. Come on, we don't want you to be sad." He raises his head, looks at his girl, looks at me, lowers his head down then mumbles, "I did you girls wrong. I was tempted by pleasures of the flesh."

We girls look at each other for clues where to go. I see a hint of anger in her eyes but this quickly passes to playful sparkling. My daughter reaches over and takes his hand, "Who is she and what happened? Come on, you're not in trouble, you can tell us." He is quiet, takes a sip of whiskey, keeps his head down, "Well, there is this house where I mow lawns on Mondays," our girl makes us jump, she slams her hand down on our table, "You fooled around with that big, bone cracking Swedish girl! I done told you to stay away from her, she is nothing but trouble." Her daddy lowers his head way down, I've seen this a thousand times, he is not ashamed, his is working at keeping from laughing. Barely three sentences into his crazy lying and he already has his girl where he wants, leg pulled.

I take her arm and squeeze, "Hear your daddy out, he might be innocent." She rolls her eyes. She knows her daddy is an old fashion cowboy who loves his whiskey and loves his bar girls.

During my childhood and early teens, I struggle to keep my girlfriends off my cowboy. He is very popular, best man for marrying around the county. Honest, hard working, polite, tall, muscular, handsome and literally hung like a stallion, half of my girlfriends up in Eagletown enjoy adventures with him, and a half dozen older housewives as well. I try and try to get him to take adventures of me but he will not for years. Best I can do is get between he and the other girls, sometimes with a stick. He is supposed to be my husband.

I tell all those stories to our girl which delights her, has her grin and laugh and beg for details, sometimes explicit details which I tell her with some sensuous flourish. Nothing is taboo in our family, we don't hide anything, "I catch him and Sally down by the lake, he is on her like a stallion on a mare." She knows about this way, she watches at night in our bed, used to act like she is asleep but soon learns she can fluff up a pillow, get comfortable and simply watch. Once in a great while she ventures a hand in there where she shouldn't usually earning a swat of her hand from her daddy. She also learns while her hand is on me feeling around I will not make her stop. I take her aside and explain she can while her daddy doesn't know or he thinks her hand is mine. Sometimes I help her fool him, well, I think we fool him.

He is supposed to be mine during my younger years, he is supposed to be our girl's during her younger years. He is our cowboy, we love him madly. With our daughter hearing hundreds of stories of her daddy enjoying naughty adventures with the girls, I understand her becoming mad and jealous, especially over that Swedish girl who lives across the street from one of our rentals. She is tall, a good six feet tall, big and thick of body, buxom, blond headed, blue eyed, she is a classic bone cracking nordic girl with a "strom" surname. Forties, never married, no children, she is also a classic gold digger. We simply call her "The Swede".

Our daughter's sudden anger makes sense. We drive over there to bring her daddy lunch, there he is mowing her front lawn and The Swede tagging right along behind him with her hands on his shoulders. We stop, have lunch with our cowboy, he explains, "Her lawnmower is broken." We pay attention, each time we are at this rental to do work, The Swede has a line of boys at her door begging to do chores for her, fix the roof, repair plumbing, even talks our girl's daddy into hanging a new front door. I am not sure if our girl is jealous mad or mad her daddy allowed The Swede to take advantage of him. Doubtful, he probably plays her while she tries to play him.