Dana sat on her front porch step and twirled a clover leaf by the stem with her fingers as she remembered a time long ago.
She was ten years old and her friend, Patrick was twelve. The middle of summer, a warm day and a blue sky was so perfect in her memory.
She stood back then as the breeze blew her long brown hair and yellow dress as if it were the ghosts of happy days gone by. Patrick was coming towards her in the field...thrashing the clover with a stick and shouting,"Not a thousand snakes shall keep me from saving the maiden!"
Dana put her hands together...resting the side of her face on them and shouted,"Save me oh save me...the serpents are at my very toes!"
Patrick screamed,"Fear not my damsel...be still and I shall slash my way through the slithering beasts...pick you up and hold you high above their reach!"
Dana giggled at the serious gaze in his green eyes. He thrashed once so hard that his John Deer cap flipped off. He put it back on his head and stabbed at the ground, shouting,"Hah..a good strike serpent but you are no match for the Knight of Harper's Corner!"
He looked at Dana and grinned wide as she held her arms up high...calmly saying,"Patrick...oh Knight of Harper's Corner...I am surrounded by snakes...um...quit fighting them and pick me up."
Patric chuckled and walked fast towards her. Dana pretended to faint as he held out his arms and caught her while saying,"I shall take thee maiden to safety...then I shall make terrible war on these nasty beasts!"
With her shoulders rested in his left arm...he picked her legs up with his right and headed for a clearing by the pond. He knelt down and sat her gently in the soft grass. Dana acted as if she'd just awakened from fainting and said,"Please stay with me oh gallant sir!"
They both busted out laughing as Patrick threw his stick far out in the field. He sat beside her in the grass. Dana looked at him, smiled and picked a little bud of clover from his hat bill. She twirled it in her fingers and softly said,"Would you really fight snakes for me?"
Patrick ignored her at first. She bumped him with her elbow and moaned,"Well...would you." Patrick stared at the shimmer of the pond as a small tear formed and rolled down his cheek. Dana had never seen him cry...she desperately asked,"What's wrong?"
He looked away and sniffled...saying,"I would fight an earth full of snakes for you...I would have done the same for my mom but I couldn't save her." He began crying and screamed,"I broke five sticks on the day she died...I thrashed a thousand weeds...I loved her so much...why is she gone, Dana...why?"
Dana wiped tears from her eyes..placed her hand on his shoulder and said,"I don't know why this popped in my mind but I'm gonna say it....I love you." She gently kissed him on the cheek and went back to twirling her clover.
Patrick wiped his tears with the back of his hand...then took Dana's hand while standing up...he said,"Come on...I'll walk you home"
It was a half mile through two fields and over a fence...Patrick never let go of her hand. They played Knights and Maidens a few more times that summer. As time went by...growing up...they grew apart and lost contact by the time they went away to college.
She had heard from an old friend that he'd died in an automobile accident. He had donated his organs and saved five lives.
Dana faded from her memory and stared at the little clover in her hand. She whispered to herself,"Oh brave Knight of Harper's Corner...I miss you...I love you."
A whirling breeze came and blew the clover from her hand and up to brush across her cheek. Dana smiled....a kiss returned.