A Half-Broke Chestnut

Jerry was sitting on the top rail of the corral fence, twirling his lariat thoughtfully and studying the horses, when Betty came out of the house.

She scattered the grain to the chickens and crossed the yard to the corral.

“I don’t suppose you’d want a half-broke gelding for a birthday present,” he said, nodding at a chestnut-colored pony.

Betty chuckled. “Not ’til you break him.”

“He’s right pretty.”

“He is. And half-broke.”

He grinned. “You chicken?”

“Just smart. Married you, didn’t I?”

He smiled down at her as he unbuttoned his right shirt pocket with his left hand.

“How ’bout this instead?” He handed her a small plush-covered box.

“Oh Jerry,” she said. She opened the box. Two small diamond chips on a heart-shaped locket gleamed up at her in the sunlight.

“Oh Jerry,” she said again as he slipped down to give her a kiss.

from Moreno Valley Sketches II