Jack leaned against the jamb of the cottage's front door and watched Sam try to coax the animal up the hill and into the dooryard.
Sam Carter having the patience to alternately cajole, sweet talk, push, pull, and drag five-hundred pounds of stubborn bovine by its leash was just one more thing on the long list of 'one-hundred-and-one little things I did not know about my previously-subordinate co-worker but have grown to love about my wife' that Jack had been keeping a mental tally of since they'd become Terran expatriates.
"You need a hand with that?" he called. He took another sip of his coffee and waited while she ignored him. He suspected this hadn't been the nice morning stroll she'd expected when the message from Harlow had arrived asking if one of them could stop by because he had something he wanted to give them before work got started for the day. Sam had volunteered to go, providing Jack had breakfast waiting when she got back.
He'd kept his part of the bargain, but it looked like the she might need a little help with hers.
Jack pushed off from the doorframe, coffee still in hand. It was fresh and still steaming, and seemed to finally catch Sam's attention when he waved the mug under her nose. With a muttered 'thank god' she pushed the animal's rope into his hand and grabbed the mug before he'd even had the chance to untangle his fingers from the handle.
"You did realize I was joking," she said between gulps, "when I said 'when you're bargaining with Harlow, maybe you should hold out for a cow'?"
She brushed past him, taking his mug with her, and left him standing there, holding the rope in the frosty morning. The cow looked from her departing figure, then back up to him with its soulful eyes. Jack could have sworn that it shrugged.
Add Item number one-hundred-and-two to the list - her sometimes overly-subtle sense of humor.
Thank goodness he was a quick study.