Authors Note:

Just a little ficlet thing I wrote a while ago.

Insert all the usual disclaimers... They're not mine, no money, don't sue. Thanks.

Cowboy Hats and Rain Boots

"Danny, you look like an idiot." Mary pursed her lips and looked her friend up and down.

"What's wrong with this?" He opened his hands and offered his outfit up for critique. He had on a lime green cowboy hat, green sweatpants, and a red vest with nothing under it.

Shaking her head, Mary turned on her heel and started off in the opposite direction. "You have no idea of any kind of fashion!"

Danny narrowed his eyes. "At least I'm not always wearing stupid pink rain boots. It's not even raining!" he yelled at her retreating back.

When she didn't respond, he shrugged his shoulders and wandered back over to his own front yard.

Drawn, as little boys can be, to the construction equipment nearby, Danny pushed his hat off his head, letting it hang down his back on its string. He ran across the open dirt area and climbed up into the seat of a bulldozer. He grabbed hold of the steering wheel and pretended to drive the machine, making the noises he remembered hearing it make.

"Hey! Are you 'posed to be up there?" Another little boy stood near the open gate at the edge of the lot.

Danny looked over and nodded his head. "I can be if I want to. My dad owns it."

The boy tentatively crossed the open area with wide eyes. "Really?" He stopped near the large tread and looked up. "Can I play too?"

"Okay." Danny moved over in the seat to give the boy room to sit down.

Once they were both settled, the new boy smiled and reached for the steering wheel. "This is great!"

Danny nodded and smiled. "My name's Danny. I live right there." He pointed to the large house on the other side of the chain link fence. "Who're you?"

"I'm Greg. I just moved in over there." He pointed to a white house down the street.


The new friends climbed down from the bulldozer and ran toward a trailer parked on the other side of the lot. Just as they reached the stairs, a voice carried across the site, stopping them in their tracks.


His eyes wide, Danny dropped to his knees and crawled through the dirt to look around the corner toward his house. "It's my mom." He hissed.

Greg sat down behind Danny and shook his head. "What does she want?"

"Danny! Where are you?"

"I don't know. Come on." Danny got to his feet and pulled Greg up. "Let's go hide!"

The two boys ran in the other direction. Not paying attention, they ran full speed into a tall man, sending them both to the ground in a heap.

"You know you're not supposed to be in here without your dad, Danny." He leaned down and pulled the two boys up by their arms. "Out. Now."

Danny and Greg turned and ran for the gate. As soon as they made it to the grassy lawn, they stopped, panting for breath.

"There you are. You know better than to be in there without your father. Come on," Danny's mother put her hand on the back of her son's head, steering him toward the house. "It's time for lunch."

Danny twisted away from his mom and went back to Greg. "Wanna stay for lunch?" He turned around. "Mom, can Greg stay?"

"I don't see why not. Come on boys." She went inside, leaving the door open for them.

The two boys smiled and moved for the house. Danny pulled his hat back up onto his head. "You wanna play cowboys after we eat?"

Greg nodded enthusiastically. "Yeah! I like your hat."

"I have another one. It's just boring brown, but you can wear it."