Glitterbug and Hucklebuck prance barefoot on the farmer’s hayfield. Hucklebuck, jut-toothed and freckled, hops sun dried windrows that curl like giant worms along the land. Glitterbug somersaults, spinning a big world beneath the kite of her cotton dress.
Enjoying a moment of repose in the cool breeze off the lapping creek, Hucklebuck blushes at the spires of gold that tumble around Glitterbug’s laughing shoulders.
“Do you love me?” she asks.
“Course I do,” he says. “I’ll even prove it.”
The chunk and punch of the farmer’s baler creeps up the rise, and Hucklebuck straddles the windrow. Puffing up his chest, he hooks his thumbs into the faded straps of his overalls, and waits.
“I would die for you, Glitterbug. I would let the old farmer bind me in a bale of hay so the horses could eat me in winter.”
The green tractor comes into view, the lid of the stack flapping like a busy mouth. The farmer, twisted in his seat, watches the yellow bales chug up the chute and then flop over.
Glitterbug stands in the shade by the creek, wiggling behind a nervous smile.
The farmer turns as he steadies the wheel, and his eyes flash emerald in his worn leather face. He knocks back his straw hat and then swipes a heavy hand through the air.
“Move on out, boy!”
But Hucklebuck, snapping a single, defiant nod, holds his ground. The farmer frowns and hunches, veins like ropes in his dark arms as he fumbles for the throttle. He lowers himself from the tractor, tired knees popping in greasy jeans. Above the low idle he growls,
“What did I tell you, boy?”
But Hucklebuck is gone. Through an arch of broad maples, the old farmer sees the pair splash and kiss in the swirling blue of the creek.
He slaps the hat on his thigh, and thick dust clouds the air for an instant before drifting. After nudging up the throttle with the meat of his palm, he grunts back into the seat. The hat’s wide brim veils the tepid overflow of his green pools while a wisp of hay see-saws like a memory between his lips.
Bio:Mel Bosworth lives and breathes in Western Massachusetts. Read more at his website, eddiesocko.blogspot.com