“It’s even warmer out than I thought.” Jennifer Jackson took her hat off and tossed her blonde hair back before settling the hat back into place. A gust of wind threatened to blow it off and she leaned forward in her saddle as she held the hat in place until the wind died down again.
“No kidding,” said Jennifer’s friend Kendra whose horse was keeping pace with Jennifer’s as they walked lazily down the dirt road that bordered the Jacksons’ pasture. “I can’t believe it’s November.”
“I know,” said Jennifer. “The only way you can tell is that it gets dark at six o’clock.”
“Next week it’ll get dark at five,” said Kendra. “Stupid daylight savings time.”
“I don’t know why we have to move the clocks back.” Jennifer shook her head. “I’d way rather have more daylight in the evening than in the morning. Who cares if it’s dark when we’re in school anyway.”
“Yeah exactly,” Kendra nodded. “It’d be easier to sleep through English class if it was dark outside.”
Jennifer laughed. “You do pretty good even when it’s bright out,” she said.
“That’s just because I have lots of practice,” said Kendra.
“You know what they say about practice,” said Jennifer. “Practice makes perfect.”
“But on the other hand, nobody’s perfect,” said Kendra.
“I know,” said Jennifer. “That’s why I stopped practising.”
Kendra looked over at Jennifer and laughed. “We have the best conversations,” she said. “They make perfect sense but they’re completely pointless.”
“Just like English class,” said Jennifer.
Kendra laughed again, but had no reply. There was a lull in the conversation while the horses continued their slow walk down the road. The faint sound of honking geese drifted down to the girls below as a flock of the birds winged its way across the sky, high overhead.
“Speaking of English class,” said Jennifer… she looked at Kendra and grinned.
Kendra grinned back at Jennifer. “That boy is CRAZY cute,” she said. “And he likes you. Which is so not fair.”
“You think he likes me?” said Jennifer. “What makes you think that?”
“Oh come on,” said Kendra. “Don’t you see the way he looks at you?”
Jennifer shrugged. “Umm, no? He looks at me when?”
“In English class obviously,” said Kendra. “That’s the only class you’re in together, dummy.”
“Yeah, well, he sits behind me,” said Jennifer, “so how would I know if he looks at me?”
“Because I sit behind him,” said Kendra, “so I know who he looks at and I’m telling you. And he’s always looking at you.”
Jennifer thought about that for a moment. “So if he likes me, how come he never talks to me?”
Kendra made a face. “Because he’s a dude, dude,” she said. “Plus he’s shy. Which you have to admit is partly what makes him so cute.”
“He’s from somewhere up by Brandon, right?” said Jennifer. “Carberry or somewhere like that?”
“Yeah, somewhere like that,” said Kendra, and then grinned. “Hey, isn’t that where you got your guard donkey?” she added.
Jennifer laughed. “Too true,” she said. “Seems incongruous. That our donkey comes from the same place as Darren Anderson, the cutest guy in school.”
“Oh, nice big word,” said Kendra. “Incongruous. Don’t use that one in English class or he’ll never ask you out. He’ll think you’re too smart for him.”
“He’ll probably never ask me out anyway,” said Jennifer. “And even if he did my mom probably wouldn’t give me permission.”
Kendra pondered that. “Yeah, your mom’s been a bit paranoid about boys ever since that thing with Bobby in Grade 9. I guess you’ll have to use the classic teenage daughter trick.”
“Which trick is that?” said Jennifer. “The old ‘if you think Mom will say no, ask
Dad’ trick,” said Kendra. “I do it all the time.” Jennifer nodded. “So do I,” she said. “It
almost always works. Except if I need money for clothes. Then I have to ask Mom.”
“That’s perfect,” said Kendra. “When Darren asks you out you can ask your dad for permission and your mom for money to buy new clothes!”
“IF he asks me out,” said Jennifer. “Oh he will,” said Kendra. She paused and
looked over at Jennifer. “And Jennifer,” she continued, “I think your mom is going to figure out that if you ask for permission and she says no, it isn’t going to stop you anyway. Am I right?”
Jennifer pondered that for a moment, then sighed. “Sadly true,” she said. “Sadly true.”
Catch Rollin Penner and the Traveling Medicine Show on the first Saturday of every
month at Sam’s Place in Winnipeg. Visit www.thetravelingmedicineshow.com for details.