How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways (by BettyHT)

Summary:  Too many trips to the punch bowl, and Little Joe finds that romancing the ladies is far more difficult than usual.
Category:  Bonanza
Genre:  Western
Rated:  PG
Word Count:  1116


 

My word, Sheila is a beauty. She’s danced with me so many times tonight; she must like me. She let me pull her real close. I think I ought to ask her for a little walk in the moonlight. Yes, that’s it. One more glass of Pa’s special punch, and she should be done dancing with my brother. That darn Adam has his hand on her back and his face right up against hers. Boy, he better not try to grab my girl. She might be the one. Time to find out. Okay, here goes. Punch is gone. Time for a little moonlight madness.

Whoo Hoo! She said yes! Now I’ll just take her hand and act the perfect gentleman. Oh, this is gonna be good. She does seem a bit standoffish. Now, what did Adam say last Friday at the Bucket o’ Blood about some poem or something he used to get MaryAnn to be right friendly? Older brother doesn’t often say much about stuff like that, but he was so mad at some of the hands for the messes they made last week that he downed quite a few, and it loosened those tight lips of his. Oh yeah, ‘How do I love thee, let me count the ways’. I hate that Shakespeare stuff, but if it works, I may have to read a little of it. And what he said was hot; man oh man, this is gonna work. We’re almost at the grove now. Just gotta ask her to sit with me and start working that poem. All right, here goes:

“How do I love thee, let me count the ways …”

What, what, or I gotta say some ways, all right now, let me think. What did Adam say? Oh yeah, I remember now:

“I love your red juicy skin which makes me want to caress it, I love those freckled lips which make me just want to kiss them with gentle kisses, I love your full luscious body that makes me want to hold it…”

Now why did she slap me and storm off like that? Darn that Adam! I bet he made that all up so I would make a fool of myself. He’s always getting me in trouble. No, wait a minute; he always catches me when I get in trouble. Oh yeah, that’s it. Oh well, I’m gonna go inside and talk to Hoss and get some more of that punch. That punch sure is good tonight.

“Ah, Hoss, I gotta ask you something about what Adam told us last Friday night. Didn’t he say that he said all those gooey things and MaryAnn was putty in his hands?

“What I’d say, well, I said, ‘I love your red juicy skin which makes me want to caress it, I love those freckled lips which make me just want to kiss them with gentle kisses, I love your full luscious body that makes me want to hold it.’ And then she slapped me.

“Why are laughing?

“What do you mean how much punch did I have? Only five or six cups, I think. It’s real good so maybe I had more. It was hot in here tonight, and with all the dancing, I was thirsty. What does that have to do with why Sheila slapped me, and darn it, why are you still laughing?

“Oh no, oh no! Don’t you go and tell Adam. This is all his fault anyway.”

Dang it, Hoss told him and now he’s laughing harder than Hoss. And Hoss didn’t even say all of it. Well, I suppose that’s a good thing. Maybe I ought to tell him so he busts a gut laughing. Then he won’t be able to dance with Sheila. That would fix him for messing with me like this.

“Hey, Adam, don’t you want to know what I really said, ’cause it was a lot better than that little bit that Hoss told you.

“So you want to know, do you? Well don’t say I didn’t warn you if this makes you bust a gut. I said, ‘I love your red juicy skin which makes me want to caress it, I love those freckled lips which make me just want to kiss them with gentle kisses, I love your full luscious body that makes me want to hold it.’ Then she slapped me. So your high and mighty fancy words just ain’t gonna work for you with that one. Sheila isn’t a pushover for fancy words.

“I sure wish one of you would say something. You look like you might pass out ’cause you ain’t’ getting enough air with all that laughing, which you should stop anytime, of course.

“You know if the two of you keep laughing like that, you’re gonna fall down and Pa’s gonna be mad ’cause you had too much of that punch.”

Oh, this is good. Pa’s coming over here. He must have seen these two idiot brothers of mine making fools out of themselves. He’ll help me with these two mean brothers of mine who can’t carry on a decent conversation without busting a gut laughing at a man.

“Hey, here comes Pa now, so you boys better stop it.

“Oh yeah, Pa, I followed Adam’s advice and he got me in all sorts of trouble.

“Oh, Hoss wants me to repeat what I said. Well, here goes. I said, ‘I love your red juicy skin which makes me want to caress it, I love those freckled lips which make me just want to kiss them with gentle kisses, I love your full luscious body that makes me want to hold it.’ Now you’re laughing too.

“Well, it ain’t funny. She slapped me, you know. Well, I don’t think it was funny at all.

“What do you mean, it ain’t Shakespeare! ‘Course it is. It’s got all that fancy talk stuff. That’s all Adam does to get the girls. Why, I don’t know, ’cause all it got me was a slap on the face. Hey you don’t suppose Adam likes getting slapped, do you?

Well, now there goes Adam dancing with Sheila again. I bet he did this all on purpose so he could keep her to himself tonight. Well, I’m gonna have one more cup of this punch, and then I’ll take care of that sneaky older brother.

“Hey, you know what I’m gonna do, Hoss? What do you mean I ought to sit down? There ain’t nothing wrong with me.

What I’m gonna do, is have more of this punch. This punch is really good.

“What were we talking about anyway?”

***End***

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