Thursday, August 15, 2013
Best in Show
“I dunno.” From the kitchen came the sounds of Digger rummaging around in the fridge. “Where the scat’s the—”
“Look in the door.”
The rummaging stopped. Laurie sighed. “My boyfriend, the mighty hunter. Can’t find things he put in his own refrigerator. It’s a good thing you grow your own food.”
“Correction.” Digger came into the living room with two bottles of Lexor’s Pale Ale. He handed the unopened one to Laurie and took a swig from the other. “I grow vegetables to lure in my own food. There’s a difference. You can’t hunt a leaf of lettuce.”
“You sure can grow one, though.” She held up the blue ribbon that proved it. “Did you win every produce exhibit at the fair?”
“Not every one. Some horse won for sweet corn. The judge was a horse, so I think it was fixed. I didn’t enter for cabbage because I didn’t grow any, and my peppers sucked this year. Even Lorelei said so.”
“That didn’t stop her from eating them.” Laurie picked another blue ribbon out of the box. “’Best Flower Arrangement’?”
Digger’s face got red. “You weren’t supposed to see that one.”
“Well, you do have that beautiful flower garden.” She spotted a flash of third-place yellow in the box. “What happened here?”
“Oh, that was Baked Goods. Meat Pie. They didn’t tell me it was supposed to be ground chuck and not woodchuck.” Digger shrugged. “Tasted fine to me.”
“Ooooh, this one’s huge! Best in Show?”
“For the zucchini, yeah. I wanted to cook it for you, but Louie offered me cash for the whole display. He said he wanted to use ‘em in a special. I couldn’t turn him down.” He raised his bottle to her. “You’re drinking your fried zucchini dinner. Enjoy.”
“We should make a display out of these. Hang it over the fireplace.”
“What for? Because I’m good at growing bunny bait? Most of that’s your doing, or tips from Lorelei. Why don’t you take those home with you? I feel funny just looking at them. Like I cheated or something.”
“It’s your garden and your efforts. You earned these.”
He wasn’t buying it, she could tell. Wolves weren’t supposed to enjoy gardening, or growing things, or digging in the dirt. The pack as a whole considered it unlupine.
Well, Laurie had an answer to that. She put down her bottle and picked up the biggest blue ribbon, the Best in Show. “I only want this one, and I know just where to put it. Right where it belongs.”
Before Digger could protest, Laurie knelt in front of him and unbuttoned his fly. She fixed the blue ribbon to the place of honor. “There we go. Biggest zucchini in Talbot’s Peak.” She gave his “zucchini” a squeeze. “And so firm!”
Digger made a low, growly noise.
“Taste … mmmmm, salty. Look! It’s growing as we speak. We’re going to need a bigger ribbon. Shall I check the radishes while I’m down here?”
His assent came out as a croak.
“Zucchini in heart of palm,” Laurie murmured in between licks. “With radishes on the side.” She sucked enthusiastically until the sauce arrived. “Now that was worthy of Best in Show. You, sir, are one hell of a gardener.”
“Gimme a couple of minutes and I’ll be ready to plow your field. Oops! Looks like the growing season’s started already.” He tugged her blouse up over her head. “We won’t be needing this.”
She yanked at his trousers. “Or these.”
Suffice to say, Digger claimed yet another prize. As the saying goes, farmers do it dirty.