Tobias slammed on the brakes. Pulling his speeding-ticket-red convertible over to the shoulder of the country road, he rested his arm along the top of the door. The clover-studded field, centered by a huge tree stump, and decorated by a red barn on the gentle slope in the distance, gave him the best idea.
“This is the perfect setting! So peaceful and quiet.” Tobias said. “I’m going to ask Sheradon to marry me. She’s told me she loved picnics when she was a little girl. I know she’ll say yes, if I ask her here, with a picnic!”
Putting the car in gear, he drove back onto the road, swerving around a tractor-drawn wagon emerging from the next pasture. His hair, so blond it looked white, flipped back off his forehead in the breeze.
With earpiece in place, Tobias instructed his cell phone, “Call Sheradon.” Before long he had Sheradon’s acceptance of a special date with him.
Following his romantic daydream, Tobias proceeded to a party supply store where he purchased the perfect wicker basket complete with red and white plaid picnic tablecloth, red plastic dishes, red-handled utensils, plastic wine glasses and a corkscrew.
On the morning of the big day, Tobias picked up his order from the local deli. Into the wicker basket went the sandwiches placed in a refrigerated bag, fruit, crackers and cheese and a recommended bottle of wine.
The grin on Tobias’ face matched Sheradon’s when she, wearing red Capri pants and a cropped red and white gingham top, opened her door. “I’m so excited to be going on a picnic with you, Toby,” she said. “It’s been years since I’ve been on one! And I think this is going to be a very special day!” She slung her backpack over her shoulder, and grabbing Tobias’ hand trotted with him to the car.
Barbed wire fencing posed no barrier to the happy couple. So what if one of the barbs snagged a tiny piece from Sheradon’s pants as Tobias lifted the upper wire for her to squeeze under. “Love covers a multitude of faults,” Tobias said with a chuckle when Sheradon tried to cover the rip with her hand. “I’ll buy you a new pair of pants.”
At the tree stump they spread out their picnic lunch.
“I wonder what that red stuff is,” Tobias said, pointing to an odd-shaped lump, roughly the size of a football, at the base of the trunk.
“A salt lick for cows, if I remember from spending time on my grandpa’s farm,” Sheradon replied. “It starts out like a cube but when the cows lick on it, their tongues wear it down to a funny shape. They need the extra minerals they get from it. I didn’t see any cows though when we walked out here.”
“Then we won’t worry about it.”
Sandwiches and fruit consumed, the special moment had arrived. Tobias stood to pull something from his back pocket, then kneeling down again, he held out the ring.
“Sheradon, you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known. The kindest, sweetest, most darlingest girl. Would you do me the honor of being my wife?”
Sheradon’s eyes were big as saucers and for some reason drifting to gaze beyond Tobias’ left shoulder. “I-I-I…uh, Toby?”
“Yes, my darling.”
“If I remember correctly from my time on Grandpa’s farm, that is a big bull over there and he is pawing the ground.”
Tobias spun around. “Oh, no! I don’t think he’s happy we’re here. Maybe that’s who the salt lick is for! Can we make a run for it?”
“No time! He’s coming too fast!” Sheradon unzipped her backpack, reached in and pulled out a small can of pepper spray. “Go, Toby! Run! I’ll hold him off!”
“Not leaving without you, babe!”
“Okay, but it could get spicy! Quick! To the other side of the tree stump!”
Sheradon’s aim was true, bringing the bull to his knees to twist his head and snort amidst the clover.
Leaving picnic supplies behind and running with Tobias to the fence, Sheradon shouted, “Yes, I will!”
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