Serena leant on a fence post, watching her wife, who was bent over planting out seedlings. She never tired of looking at Bernie’s shapely backside, and this angle was a particularly favourable one.
“Will cucumbers even grow in our climate, darling?” Serena asked.
Bernie straightened up and stretched, a view Serena enjoyed even more than the previous one, as Bernie’s ribbed vest top rode up, showing off her admirably toned stomach.
“Ah, well I’m planning on putting one of those small poly-tunnels I bought over the top. That should help, I think. They’re a bit of an experiment, either way.”
“Bernie darling, do either of us even like cucumbers enough to go to all this effort to grow them?”
Bernie walked over to Serena and slung an arm around her shoulders.
“Probably not, my love, but you know I love a challenge. Besides, assuming I even manage to produce anything edible, the community group will undoubtedly be able to find happy homes for whatever we can’t use ourselves.”
Serena tilted her head up to kiss her wife. The smell of Bernie’s sun-warmed skin, fresh soil and a faint tang of sweat was intoxicating.
“Well Major Wolfe, I think I’m going to head indoors for a lie down. I wouldn’t say no to some company, should you care to join me.”
Serena placed a last kiss on Bernie’s lips, then turned to walk towards the house, making sure to add an extra little sway to her hips. Bernie never needed any extra encouragement, but it didn’t hurt to motivate her to finish her gardening as soon as possible.
Bernie watched Serena walk away with a huge grin on her face. God, how she loved that woman. She returned to her row of cucumber seedlings and gently planted out the final couple. As she thoroughly watered in the young plants, she thought about the weather forecast. It was meant to be warm for the next couple of days at least. Hmmm… The construction of the poly-tunnel could wait until tomorrow evening. She had better things to do with her Sunday afternoon!
Serena opened the vegetable drawer of the fridge, hoping Bernie had left some mushrooms after that morning’s full English.
“Bloody hell, not more!” Serena muttered. “I am sick of the sight of fucking cucumbers.”
The veggie drawer was rammed absolutely full.
To say Bernie’s growing experiment had been a success was an understatement. There seemed to be a never ending supply of the bloody things. Her prediction that neither of them were particularly fond of the things had come very true. In spite of Googling cucumber recipes, neither of them had really fancied the idea of cucumber soup or green smoothies. They were both very much the type to the remove the slice of gherkin from a burger, so pickling them was also pointless. There were only so many slices of cucumber that one needed in a salad, and so they had barely scraped the surface of the cucumber mountain by themselves.
Serena heard Bernie and Jason walk into the kitchen and turned, brandishing one of the offending articles.
“Cucumbers. Bloody cucumbers everywhere!”
“Careful waving that about sweetheart, you could have someone’s eye out,” laughed Bernie.
Jason barked, clearly thinking Serena wanted to play fetch. He jumped up, snatched the long, green vegetable from Serena’s hand and ran outside.
“I’m sick of the sight of bloody cucumbers, Bernie. At least that’s one less to worry about. Talk about cucumber overload!”
“Be thankful they’re an annual, Serena. As successful as the experiment has proven to be, I won’t be planting them again next year. This lot will be going over to the mainland with us in the morning. You’ll also undoubtedly be pleased to hear that the crop definitely appears to be slowing down.” Bernie enveloped Serena in a hug and kissed the top of her head. She hummed in contentment, before remembering what she had come indoors to tell her wife.
“She’s done it again, Serena. Muriel has done her Houdini act yet again.”
Serena sighed and pulled away slightly, to look at Bernie. “Again? That chicken does like to take the concept of ‘free range’ and really run with it, doesn’t she? She’s just lucky that Jason is such a big softy and seems to have taken a real shine to her.”
The last time Muriel had flown the coop, they had found her, perched on the back of the big, friendly Malamute as he lay in the sunshine.
“Help me look for her?” asked Bernie, hopefully.
“Of course, darling. Let’s go.”
They had talked previously about the possibility of leaving Muriel out of the chicken enclosure, as she seemed to enjoy roaming about so much. Although she never seemed to go too far, they were worried about the unpredictability of the weather. The thought of Muriel venturing further afield and being blown into the sea or something equally unpleasant scared them. Therefore they always tracked her down and returned her to the company of the rest of the girls. Bernie secretly thought Muriel was a kindred spirit and sometimes just needed some solitude.
They walked out into the cool, damp afternoon, hand in hand.
“Veg patch?” Serena sugggested.
“Of course. I hope she hasn’t scoffed too many of my tomatoes. She is a bugger for a tomato,” Bernie said, with a grin.
Serena chuckled, recalling Muriel’s previous tomato-based antics.
They separated and started at opposite ends of the vegetable garden, both looking up and down the neat rows for the feisty old hen.
“Serena, over here,” Bernie called out, after a few minutes. “I think you’re going to like this.”
Walking over to where her wife was peering into a poly-tunnel, Serena was intrigued. She joined Bernie, and looked through the opening. There was Muriel, neck craned upwards, pecking away at a small baby cucumber. She looked at Bernie and then burst into laughter.
“I didn’t realise it was quite that funny, my love. I only thought you would enjoy the fact she’s helping to reduce the cucumber overload just a smidge.”
As soon as Serena was able to regain her breath and calm her giggles, she explained the source of her mirth.
“Oh Bernie! I don’t know why, but as soon as I saw her, pecking away, I pictured the look on Fletch’s face at the wedding. Remember when I pointed out that his kilt and an escapee chicken might not be too compatible?” Serena wiped the tears of laughter away.
They both looked into the tunnel again at the feathered menace, still happily tucking into the baby veg. Bernie’s hooting laughter joined with Serena’s, as they both stepped back and wordlessly decided to leave Muriel to it for a little while longer.