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A Clever Plan to Sweep Miss Beulah Off Her Feet (From Hank the Cowdog #12: The Fiddle-Playing Fox) In Hank the Cowdog #12: The Fiddle-Playing Fox, Hank meets Frankie the Fox. When Hank discovers that Frankie's fiddle music charms the ladies, he asks Frankie to help him win the heart of his one true love, Miss Beulah the Collie.
As planned, Frankie took cover behind a big native elm on the north edge of the yard, and I went on.
I hid behind a little bush and watched Beulah coming down from the front porch: the fine collie nose, the flaxen hair, the deep brown eyes, the ears that flapped in the breeze.
Mercy! Any dog would gladly give his life for such a woman. Fortunately, I had come up with a better plan.
I stepped from behind the bush, and in a voice as thick and sweet as sorghum molasses, I said, "Hello, Beulah."
I saw the startled look come into her eyes as old memories came rushing to the surface. She was startled, puzzled, bewildered, and then torn between the true love she'd always felt for me and the false, counterfeit, shabby emotions she felt for Plato. Yes, I could see it all passing across her face in the space of a few seconds. Finally, she spoke. "Why...Hank! What are you doing here?"
I gave her a secret smile. "I think you know, Beulah."
"No, I really don't."
"Of course you do. You know, and I know that you know, and you know that I know that you know, and there's no sense in pretending."
"Oh Hank, I hope you're not still thinking about...us."
I laughed and immediately switched to Plan B.
"Oh no. No. No, no. I have my life and you have yours."
She sighed and began to relax, heh, heh.
"Yes indeed, my sweet darling, uh, friend...friend of many years and shared experiences, and why don't we take a little walk down by that big native elm tree? It's a beautiful tree, don't you think?"
I began easing her towards the tree.
"Well, yes, I suppose it is."
We had reached the base of the tree, on the other side of which lurked my secret musical weapon.
"Well," she said, taking a deep breath of fragrant air, "it is a very nice tree. What shall we talk about?"
"Oh, I don't know, why don't we talk about fiddle music?"
For a moment she ducked her head. Then her big dewy eyes came up and she smiled.
"I suppose you already know that I just LOVE fiddle music."
Ho boy, was this deal working? Old Hank had set the trap of love, and now he was fixing to release the spring.
"Beulah, my prairie winecup, I can't say that I knew that you loved fiddle music, but I did sort of suspect it. Now, if you will close your eyes, I will produce from the ectoplasmic vapors of the atmosphere some of the most gorgeous fiddle music you have ever heard."
Good old Frankie the Fox! He came in right on cue and played a real pretty little number. I watched my prey...uh, my darling as she swayed back and forth with the pure sweet sounds of the fiddle.
"Beulah, may I have the honor of this dance?"
"Oh, I shouldn't...but...maybe just one, for old times' sake."
I really didn't care whose sake the dance was for. I took her in my paws and we became as one with each other and with the music.
All at once her eyes popped open, and she gasped.
"Oh Hank, that is the most divine fiddle music I ever heard!"
"Is it now? How interesting, yes, but keep your eyes closed, my buttercup."
"Hank, what is the name of that song?"
The music stopped. Frankie whispered the name of the song from behind the tree.
"Quiet Frankie, I'll handle this. The tune is called 'Just Friends,' my darling, which doesn't really describe?"
Her eyes popped open again.
"Hank, I simply MUST find out where it's coming from!"
"Oh no, I don't think?"
"WHO IS THAT FIDDLE PLAYER?"
"Oh, it's nobody you'd?
The music stopped and-I couldn't believe this part-that sneaking no-good egg-stealing fox poked his smiling face around the trunk of the tree and he said?
What will foxy Frankie say? Can his romantic string serenades win the heart of Hank's lady love? Find out in Hank the Cowdog #12: The Fiddle-Playing Fox (Copyright John R. Erickson)