1. Girl Talk

By Calico

“Bonnie? Bonnie? You awake?” Trixie stared, hopefully, through the dim dawn light at her companion. Nothing. Louder, “You awake?”

“No! Go back to sleep.”

“Y’know yesterday…?”

“Go back to sleep!”

“Those two fellas who picked us up…”

One lushly fringed dark eye flickered open for a moment. “For Pete’s sake! What time is it? Go back to sleep!”

“Y’know mine – that Thaddeus Jones guy?”

“Or – here’s a thought – let ME go back to sleep.”

“I…” Trixie hesitated a moment. “I kinda like him.”

Bonnie opened both eyes – and rolled ’em. “Trixie! What have I told you ’bout gettin’ fond of the customers? Huh?”

Sulkily, “Not to.”

“And – why not?”

Even more sulkily, “‘Cos ya only end up gettin’ hurt.”

Silence. Specifically, sulky silence. Then…”I wouldn’t say no to a roll in the hay with YOUR fella, that Joshua Smith, neither!”

“Trixie!”

“Well, do ya blame me? They both seemed the kind o’ fellas who’d make sure a gal always got her oats regular.”

A certain wistfully reminiscent expression came into Bonnie’s eyes. “It’s certainly been a while since I’ve been in such skilled hands. He can have a re-mount anytime he chooses!” She caught Trixie’s smug expression and shook her dark head as if to drive out troublesome thoughts. “That’s not the point. The point is – you shouldn’t go gettin’ too fond of a fella. For the likes of us – they come, they go.”

“Just a business transaction, huh?” sighed Trixie.

“Exactly! D’ya think Thaddeus Jones is lyin’ awake right now thinkin’ ’bout you?”

“Guess not.”

“There you are!”

“‘Cos,” triumphantly, “after the ride I gave him yesterday, he’ll be too worn out to BE awake yet!”

“Trixie!”

“It was – bareback!”

“Bareback?”

“Too right! Once I’d got the bit between my teeth…!”

“Trixie!”

“He had me buckin’ like a bronco!” Pause. “One thing kinda worries me though.”

“What’s that?”

“When he went to get supper, I heard him tell that Smith fella he could eat a horse!”

A whicker of amusement. “That’s only an expression, ya silly mare!”

Rolling her eyes in disbelief at her friend, Bonnie tugged a mouthful of hay from the bale suspended in her stall and rubbed a troublesome itch on her flank on the livery wall.

THE END

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