It was one of those evenings that makes you glad there’s a month called May. Bob Milford parked his truck in front of the Mule Barn truck stop, then changed his mind and drove the few blocks into town and parked in front of Sarah’s Read Me Now bookstore and got out.

  The air was sweet like wine, warm and flowing over his body. The calves out on the Diamond W were healthy and frolicking all over the place and there had only been three difficult births where he’d had to pull the calves, and those were from first-calf heifers, so it was to be expected.

  And he decided what he needed was to see how the rest of the world was handling a nice dose of spring, so he drove in from the ranch for the evening. Sarah was just locking up and visited with Bob for a few minutes before heading home for supper. Bob leaned against the wall and kept his eye on the square across the street. Two kids were playing with the cannon, shooting invisible invaders and making the world safe for suppertime in a small American town.

  Dud Campbell and his wife, Anita, were walking across the square, not talking, but just being with each other. Their hands were touching, but there was more there.  They were touching each other in a silent way, sharing love and promises silently. Across the way, Doc and Mrs. Doc stood together, looking in the window of the now-closed hardware store. They looked tired tonight, Bob thought. Neither was that young anymore.

  Seeing these two couples made Bob a little sorry he wasn’t married, but he’d tried that once and it hadn’t worked out too well. She lived in the city now and was married to another fellow and had three kids.

  Oh, he knew it had all happened for the best. He knew it. So he patted the cow dog in the back of his pickup and headed back down the road to the Mule Barn. He would order the special tonight. Maybe some pie, too.

  Just the right thing for a warm evening in May.

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Brought to you by A Cowboy’s Guide to Growing up Right, check it out at nmsantos.com.

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