“That Darn Cat”


    Dewey picked up Emily’s yellow dress at the cleaners and drove it back to her here in the valley. They had managed to get most of the wine stains out. But what Dewey hadn’t managed to get out that fateful evening at the Italian restaurant was his vow of eternal love for Emily and a suggestion that they become mister and missus Decker.

Oh well, he might give it another try tonight. But this darn clumsiness of his always seemed to get in the way.

Emily looked lovely when he picked her up that evening. They held hands and walked around in town, staying on the sidewalks to avoid any more tripping disasters for our local fertilizer king.

  “Dewey,” she said, stopping to look at him. “The other night, just before the wine episode, you said you wanted to ask me something, but you didn’t, because of the spill, I guess.”

  “That’s right,” he said, making sure his feet were planted and he didn’t move. “I had something to say, but I was hoping for a more … romantic setting. I wanted everything to be just right, you know? Something we’d remember.”

  He’d been slowly backing up all this time as Emily played with his shirt collar. That was probably why he didn’t notice Mrs. Miller’s yellow cat, Pretty Girl, walking behind him.

  When his foot came down on P.G.’s tail, the yowl made him jump on Emily, the cat jumped in the air, and Emily and Dewey piled up on top of each other behind someone’s garbage can.

  She was so close he could feel her breathe and he couldn’t help kissing her.

  She smiled. “Don’t move, Dewey Decker. Just stay still. I think we ought to get married, don’t you?”

  He grinned. “You bet.”

  “One more kiss,” Emily said, “and then I’d like to finish walking, with my fiance’.”

How to catch a world-record snapping turtle on a fly in Oklahoma. Read The Fly Fisherman’s Bucket List, available
from www.LPDPress.com.




Newspaper columnist Slim Randles, who writes the weekly Home Country column, took home two New Mexico Book Awards in 2011. His advice book for young people, “A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing Up Right,” took first place in the self-help category, and “Sweetgrass Mornings” won in the biography/memoirs category. Randles lives and works in Albuquerque. Home Country reaches 3 million hometown newspaper readers each week

Slim Randles learned mule packing from Gene Burkhart and Slim Nivens. He learned mustanging and wild burro catching from Hap Pierce. He learned horse shoeing from Rocky Earick. He learned horse training from Dick Johnson and Joe Cabral. He learned humility from the mules of the eastern High Sierra. Randles lives in Albuquerque.

Randles has written newspaper stories, magazine articles and book, both fiction and nonfiction. His column appeared in New Mexico Magazine for many years and was a popular columnist for the Anchorage Daily News and the Albuquerque Journal, and now writes a nationally syndicated column, “Home Country,” which appears in several hundred newspapers across the country.


  Huntington Beach News

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