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summer afternoon, 1972

Momma’s hard bare feet push on the shovel as easily as others would with work shoes. Her breasts jiggle as she pulls up the recalcitrant rooty earth in digging another hole. Sofa and Frodo, in their overalls and boots, are ready with the next post, logs hewn from the big dead tree next to the High Pond. It has just enough big branches for the purpose, though all that chopping and trimming is a lot of work. Sarajane, in jeans and ruined sneakers, stands next to the wheelbarrow of wet cement, scoop at the ready.

“Let’s give them a show,” Sarajane suddenly says. They’re sure the Jorgensens are watching, what with two young women, one naked and one topless, in easy eyeshot of their house, on a sunny afternoon. “They probably have a telescope.”

Momma leans on the shovel, sweating, catching her breath. Now a little girlish giggle. “Let’s!”

They face the split-level home and hold their breasts up in offering, then shimmy. Momma can move her nipples in little circles, though it takes a few twists of the shoulders to make this happen. Sofa and Frodo clap and whistle crudely, as if the girls were on stage at a topless bar. “Venus should be here,” Sofa says. Venus really does work at one.

It’s all just karma coming back to bite the Jorgensens, after they lodged that complaint about an inadequate fence. They hadn’t even had the decency to first talk to anyone here at Stone Tree Farm. No one suspected anything until that summons showed up in their rusty old mailbox. Fortunately the town library is one of those places that are cool with Momma walking in. She only had to poke around the reference section for twenty minutes. It ended up being quite a picture, the amazed looks at the monthly Village Board of Appeals meeting, when this girl less than half their age, hastily clad only in short towels pinned front and rear, her entire sides showing, strode barefoot to the lectern and cited chapter and verse from the Village Code. “Sirs, as one can see from the definitions section, 5.03(b)(iv), the regulation applies only to fences abutting public roads.” Summons dismissed!

Once they got back in the van and Momma shucked those suffocating towels, they kissed her in a dozen places. Back at the house they got her drunk on Sofa’s sweet but potent wine and Manfred licked her for hours, the others sitting giggling in the kitchen, drinking a toast with each of her many orgasms. Momma is a “screamer” and was easily heard throughout the house. But in the morning, reviving with her third coffee, she said, Let’s get that fence repaired anyway. So here they are. In her research she discovered that the old fence, broken down and barely visible now, was actually put up about twenty feet short of the property line, but she said, “Let’s repair it where it is. The land beyond is the DMZ. The fence will be Hue.”

After two hours they run out of posts and decide to quit for the day. Momma asks Frodo to stay behind. Not being the most perceptive guy, he has not picked up on her glances and he innocently wonders what she wants.

“George,” she says, and he knows he is about to get scolded. Whenever Momma uses your birth name, it’s serious. Her body is sleek with sweat and brown with stuck-on dust, hand on the upright shovel, a river of perspiration running between her breasts to disappear into her lush pubic hair. But her gaze is steady. And her nipples are stiff, and pointing at him like little fingers.


“Why do you keep ragging about Gentle’s dick?”

“About the cucumbers? It’s all just a joke.”

“He doesn’t take it like a joke.”

Frodo (George) looks down. He is not a humble type and this is not easy to say. “Look, I’m jealous. Any guy would be.”

“You shouldn’t be. Can’t you tell he’s sensitive about it? He’s the only one who goes into the Pond with shorts on. He probably hates being stared at.”

Frodo thinks for a second. “Girls wouldn’t mind.”

“I think they do.” She pauses for a second, looking down at her dusty feet. Then she says, “I think he’s a virgin.”

“What? A guy like him? He’s probably had chicks throwing themselves at him since high school. With a piece of meat like that! I wish I could be that proud when I pull down my pants. With him, it’s like -- wow!!”

“Au contraire. Girls must be afraid of it. I can see why. I’ve never had one that big.” Momma, despite her age, has a range of experience.

Frodo is frustrated at not getting complimented on confessing his insecurity. “Arbutus seems to like him.”

“Yes she does, but I think she’s afraid of it too.”

Frodo, admonished, is stumped as to what to say.

More softly, Momma says, “Just lay off the jokes. Be Gentle with Gentle.”


She hugs him, her sweaty breasts squashed against his overalls, as if cushioning a rough landing.

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