The Autumn day was just perfect, a light breeze and the small patches of fog that hovered close to the ground soon disappeared with the rising of the sun. This was to be a very special day I had been talking with this very beautiful woman who worked at the local diner. Every morning before work I would go in and order breakfast and we would pass the time talking as I ate. Over the course of several months we had come to know each other very well, and last Tuesday I asked her if she had this Saturday off from work. She told that she did so I gathered the courage to ask her to go on a picnic. She said that she would love to and that she would help put the picnic basket together. I woke up early and made a fast dash to the store to pick up a chicken to fry for our picnic lunch along with some light vegetables and creamy spinach dip. She was making a wonderful potato salad that I had tasted before at the diner, along with a small strawberry shortcake that would just melt in your mouth. I packed the dishes and silverware along with a couple of wine glasses and a nice bottle of white Zinfandel then drove to her house.
I was very excited to see her, she answered the door, as I stood holding the basket I got lost in the moment. Her long dark hair was pulled back and lay over her shoulder and her eyes seem to sparkle. I am sure I was a sight to see as I stood there staring at the beauty of this woman whom I had only seen in a waitress uniform until today. It was far different seeing her in a cotton white blouse with the top button undone, a pair of semi-faded levis and black shoes. I gained my senses when she said with a smile “are you just going to stand there all day gawking or are we going to get the basket put together.” I returned her response by excusing myself and we walked into the house. She had everything ready and we finished packing the basket. She asked me where we were going. I was taking her to a very special place that I spent a lot of time exploring when I was a kid. It was an area that lay between two rivers, it was filled with hard woods, wheat fields pastures, wild game and birds. I thought along the river would be a nice area to have the picnic and take a long nature walk and maybe snap a few pictures of birds or any wild game we may come across.
We talked almost non stop as we were traveling to the little tucked away island. We parked the car on a turn row, I had her to bring the blanket as I unpacked my camera and picnic basket from the trunk. We both smiled as we began to walk down the little trail that was covered with a natural canopy provided by the trees that had stood along this trail for hundreds of years. She looked so pretty with the breeze teasing her long hair, I really started to feel like a school boy again. We walked until we came to an opening that was planted in wheat and short hay grass. She spread the blanket down on the grass and I placed the picnic basket next to the blanket.
She spun around with a girlish excitement in her voice and said “Let’s take a walk in the wood I want you to show me the favorite place you used to go to when you were a kid.” She took me by the hand and off through the woods we went. I took her to a little spot along a winding trail next the river where it opened into a cane break. “ This is where I would come to hunt and fish, I could cut a cane pole and fish in the river or I could sit here in this cane break and wait for a wild hog to come up that trail” I explained. “Oh you are funning with me, there are no wild hogs out here” she said. “ Oh no I am not joking many of times when I was a kid I would shoot a seventy five to a hundred and twenty five pound hog no more that thirty yards from this spot” I said. “ Well I hope if we run into a wild hog you are a fast runner” she said laughing. Jokingly I responded “ Well I don’t have to be a fast runner I just have to be able to out run you.” That got me a slug in the arm and a smile as we continued to walk along the trail.
I showed her several wild fruit trees, wild grape vine and we saw a lot of squirrels gathering nuts, we even saw a couple of hen turkeys. As we walked a little farther in the the woods we stopped by an old Cottonwood tree that had been struck by lightning many years before I was even born it had split it almost into two complete pieces but somehow it continued to grow to be over a hundred feet tall. We kept hearing small chirps and growls as we looked up in the top of that old cottonwood tree we saw a sow raccoon and two of her kittens chasing each other in the top of that tree. After about an hour we decided that it was time to go back and have our picnic, the walk back was just as pleasant. I couldn’t help think that there was something special about her, I loved hearing her voice and how she would sometimes turn her head and smile at me while she was talking. Yes I could tell I was feeling something about her that I had not felt in a long time and I was pretty sure she had that same feeling.
We sat down and opened the picnic basket and brought out all the wonderful things we both had prepared I thought to myself “hummmm this is something different this is something we did this together” I poured us some wine and made a silly little toast “ to a beautiful day, and a beautiful girl” I notice that her cheeks were blushing. Just then we heard a noise coming from the wheat field in front of us. She looked at me and asked “ It’s not a wild hog is it”? “ I don’t think so it doesn’t sound big enough to be a hog” I replied. Then from the corner of my eye I notice a small cottontail bobbing in and out of the wheat field. I laughed and pointed then said “There’s your wild hog, it’s just a cotton tail who wouldn’t harm a fly” We both began to laugh when all of a sudden we heard this roaring flutter coming from the wheat field. I felt as if someone had cut the air from my windpipes and my arms began to tingle and go numb. That’s when I realized she was wrapped around me holding on for dear life with her eyes squeezed shut shaking. The roaring flutter then flew over our heads it seems the little cottontail spooked a cuvee of quail. As the sound subsided she opened her eyes and looked up at me, her arms began to turn a loose of their grip but she didn’t let go. We sat there just looking at each other for the longest and then the most amazing thing happened in my life. We kissed for the first time, a soft but passionate kiss that lingered for what felt like eternity. Our hearts met through this kiss, our souls bonded through this kiss, our love blossomed through this kiss.
We both smiled as we continued to hold each other and I spoke softly to her and said “Thank God for quail and cottontails.”