Henry stood back amazed how quick as lightening Celeste skinned her rabbit. His eyes didn’t miss a lick with his granddaughter, and when she completed her task she held up the skinned hide perfectly in tack without a hole or slice in the fur with her sharp blade. “Where on heavens child did you learn to skin a hide, outstanding job! I didn’t know you could rip a hide clean like this in a matter of seconds.” Henry observed the soft cotton tail’s hide, and smiled his pride to his granddaughter. Celeste was blushing beet red with her papa’s praise, she quickly told him about the moonshiner Ernie from Alabama.
Henry listened to all the stories of Celeste and Ernie, he gives thanks to the old man silently for his gentle guidance in raising his granddaughter. Celeste kept babbling her Alabama tales to her papa while she helped him pluck the turkey he killed in hot boiling water. The rest of the day was fabulous until her father called in the evening stating he was leaving for a few weeks, and would like her to return home as soon as possible to keep Doris company. Celeste hung the phone up with a heavy heart, and returned to sitting down at the round kitchen table with her granddad. “I take it, that you must leave tomorrow.” Henry softly questioned his granddaughter. “Yes, papa I do,” was all Celeste could say in a sad voice.
The pair sat at the table unable to utter a word, Henry felt the sorrow and sadness seep from his granddaughter as time ticked away in silence. Henry asks Celeste with a smile, “Do you know how much I love you?” The cowgirl looks up at her papa with teary eyes and said, “Yes from here to eternity papa.” He slides his big hand towards his granddaughter and holds on tight to her little hand. “Indeed I do, always and forever never forget that! You know my lassie, I can’t promise to fix all your problems, but I can promise you won’t have to face them alone.” Celeste let the tear fall, and stares at the man who loved her the most in life. “You are the only one papa who loves me, so it’s not too hard to forget.” Henry wasn’t expecting the in doldrums response.
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