Shorty was almost 60 years old and had lived in the same small town his entire life. Shorty got his name as his right leg was considerably shorter than his left.
He attended the local school until he was needed to help out on his parent’s farm. The cows and fence mending would not wait for Shorty to finish school. That was ok by him, he hated going to the one room schoolhouse where the other children teased him because of his funny leg. He did not really take to “readin’ and writin’ and all that stuff anyway.”
Shorty never married, though there once was a girl with red hair whom he loved, or so he thought. her name was Betty Lou and he once got up his nerve to invite her to the barn dance. Betty Lou said she would be there, but never came, at least not with Shorty. She came to the dance with one of the local boys who used to make fun of him as a kid. Shorty never asked a girl to a dance again after that. “Girls were too much trouble and well useless, unless they would bake you a cake”, which is all he said to her the next time he saw her.
The next 35 years were spent mostly alone on his inherited “farm”. Shorty did not have too much time to think about being lonely, though sometimes he thought it would be nice to have a friend.
He never went to the D.M.V. to get his driver’s license and got tired of the town police stopping him for this when driving his pickup to town for supplies, so instead Shorty just drove his green lawn mower everywhere he needed to go.
When driving down the Highway, folks would see him and wave and say, ” there goes that Shorty feller on his lawn mower again”. Shorty would tip his hat.
One day as Shorty was heading into town he spied a small red tractor coming towards him, right towards him. Driving this tractor was a woman. As she got closer, Shorty could make out her faded red hair and a soft roundness in light blue overalls. “Hmmpppfff….” he thought , “haven’t seen her round these parts before”, and proceeded to pass her by, but wait! The woman was waving and smiling at Shorty and hollering at him to stop for a minute, so he pulled his lawn mower over alongside the road, wondering, “what the heck?”.
She pulled up beside him and they said how-do-ya-do’s and Shorty discovered that this was The Betty Lou who had stood him up all those years back, now 35 years older, and abandoned by a man whom she had been madly in love with and married. He had abandoned her with no warning, so Betty Lou packed her things and moved back to her child hood home where things were simpler.
Betty Lou invited Shorty to coffee and they met in town for a cup of joe. Shorty was able to talk to Betty Lou real good, and they found they liked each other quite well.
Too soon, it was time to head home, so Shorty got on his lawn mower and Betty Lou got on her tractor and they rode part way home side by side as traffic permitting, chatting very loudly along the way. They said their good byes and each went to their homes, alone.
Later that evening, there was a knock at Shorty’s front door and he rose from his comfy chair to answer. There was Betty Lou, with her faded red hair, with a 2 layer chocolate cake in her hands and a big grin on her face.
Shorty smiled sweetly and leaned to open the screen door for her………….