by Michal Reiben
My mother-in-law, Granny as everyone calls her does her best to eat healthy foods and she also belongs to a nudist club. We live way out in the country in a cottage that has a large overgrown garden full of tangled thickets and tendrils growing in every direction. Sometimes when Granny comes to visit us and the sun happens to be shinning she’ll drag a battered deck chair way back to the end of our garden and place it hidden between tall stinging nettles and the bordering beech hedgerow. Then she peels off her clothes and plumps her naked bulky body down into the deck chair.
Our next-door neighbor is a retired colonel who is a keen gardener and a gentleman. Whenever he meets you he lifts his hat and says, “Good morning or good afternoon,” depending on what time of the day it is and then he goes on to discuss the weather. Every day he tends to his garden lovingly, and nature yields herself to his tender touch and attention. As a result, he has neat raised beds of vegetables and fruit bushes.
Today Granny is spending some time in our cottage. Since the countryside is bathed in brilliant summer sunlight she is taking this opportunity to sunbath. She can feel the sunshine wrap her body in warm rays. It’s so pleasant. Her eyelids flutter as they close. She appears to be sleeping.
On the other side of the hedge, the Colonel with prunes in hand and gloves on is attending to his raspberry bushes. He wrenches vigorously at a stubborn weed, finally, it comes out by its roots, goes sailing over the beech hedgerow, and lands on Granny’s ample bosom. Granny leaps into the air and shrieks in wild panic. The Colonel peeps over the hedgerow to see who is shrieking and upon seeing the naked image before him his mind reels. He turns bright red and stammers, “I-I-I’m so-so sorry madam.” Then he hastily makes a retreat.
When I hear Granny’s scream, I’m worried something awful has happened to her. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and my pulse quickens. I bolt out of the cottage and down the weedy garden path towards Granny and find her standing by the deckchair, clutching her clothes to her naked body and looking bewildered.
“Granny, what happened?”
“Your neighbor threw some dirt on me.”
“The Colonel? He was probably gardening to energetically. I’m sure he didn’t do it on purpose.”
“He did apologize but it was very embarrassing!”
As I am helping Granny back into her clothes I begin to giggle through my nose and shortly I find myself writhing with laughter.
“Sorry, Granny but I can’t help thinking about how surprised the Colonel must have been?” I splutter.
Granny who loves a good laugh and has laughter lines from her gift of smiling easily tips back her silver head and joins me. Together we howl with laughter until tears roll down our cheeks and we can hardly breathe.