A lot is happening in the world of Miss Bessie and Arf. Steve, the carpenter, is doing the repairs on the barn and today, he brought his eight year old daughter, Katie, with him. Jamie went back to college for a month and to Miss Bessie’s delight, left Arf with her. Brad is still a mystery. He had just arrived at Miss Bessie’s house and she wasn’t wasting any time trying to get information.
“Do you have any idea why Jamie would seem so preoccupied, Brad?”
“Not a clue, Miss Bessie,” he said. “Right before she left, she was talking about what she might want to do this summer. I invited her to come back to the ranch and stay.”
“I’m assuming she was hesitant. I’m also pretty sure it offended you when she didn’t jump at your generous invitation.”
“You have pretty much nailed the whole situation, Miss Bessie.”
“Let me explain, Brad. Jamie doesn’t know you that well. You have your cook and housekeeper living there so it’s not a case of inappropriateness, but three months is a long time to commit to living somewhere. A girl needs more than a moments notice.”
“I think I get what you’re saying, Miss Bessie. She also probably wants to scout out possible places to do her internship in the fall.”
“How rude were you, Brad?” Miss B was giving him a look.
“Rude enough,” he answered. “I’m not sure it was a good idea anyway.”
Brad changed the subject before Miss Bessie had time to dig a little deeper. He hadn’t noticed Steve who was getting his tools out of the truck.”Who is the little girl petting Arf?”
***If only dogs could talk. The world would be a much better place. In the meantime, I’m over here falling in love with Katie. She seems to really like me, too. Miss Bessie interrupted my thoughts.
She asked Steve to bring Katie over to the porch.
“Steve, do you know Brad Humbolt?” Steve is repairing all the damage to the barn.”
“Yes, I believe we’ve met,” Brad said. “Hello Steve…it’s been a while.”
“Katie is Steve’s daughter. She’s going to spend the morning with Arf and me.”
Brad and Steve nodded hello to each other and then Brad said he had to get back to the ranch.
Miss B reached for Katie’s hand. “I’m so happy to have you here, Katie. I think Arf is too.”
**I was crossing my paws hoping Miss B would let me stick around with Katie and her. I have never played with a little human before and Katie even has her own chair with wheels. I pushed her back and forth on the porch and she laughed. She threw the frisbee to me a whole bunch of times. Even though she couldn’t throw it very far, we both had fun. And then…when Miss B brought lemonade and cookies out, Katie dropped a whole half a cookie under the table, right next to me. It was peanut butter…my favorite kind.
When Steve was ready to go, Miss Bessie told him how much we enjoyed having Katie here and that he could bring her anytime.
“Thank you, Miss B. Her grandmother usually watches her, but she wasn’t feeling well today. If I need to bring Katie here, I will call first… like I did this morning.”
“Please bring Katie back tomorrow. It will give the poor woman another day of rest. Does your wife work, too, Steve?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I haven’t seen or heard from her since shortly after Katie was born. See you in the morning Miss Bessie.”
“Okay, see you tomorrow, Katie. We’ll do something fun.”
After everyone left, Miss Bessie fed me supper and then she ate her meal. “Well Arf,” she said. “Now we have two mysteries to solve…and a little matchmaking to do.”
**I heard her, but I was almost asleep. Katie was coming tomorrow.
This morning, after we finished the chores, Miss B and I sat on the front porch and waited for Steve’s truck to pull in. I was excited for Katie to get there.
But Katie and Steve never came.