DISCLAIMER: I have no clue who owns the rights to the "Without Men" movie, still. So, yeah, I watched "Without Men" before going to bed, and basically had this dream. ^^;
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Like everything else I've written this story is also available at my own fic site, http://ryufic.blogspot.se/
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To rosmari.karlssonfaltin[at]telia.com
A Day At The Mayor's Office
By Carola "Ryûchan" Eriksson
Ubaldina marched into the room which served as the mayor's office, causing her once-nemesis Rosalba to look up at her, clearly startled.
"Can't you control her?" Ubaldina demanded with an angry wave of her arm towards the door. Obediently Rosalba looked to said doorway where, after a good long moment, a pouting and clearly reluctant Cleotilde shuffled in.
Rosalba considered. "Oh, I can. But she likes my big behind the way it is, and would not prefer me in any of your dresses, so I don't want to." As always when the conversation touched on The Pig, however indirectly, Ubaldina's eyes moved to look at anything but Rosalba. "What is the problem?"
It was the wrong thing to say. Both women began to wave their arms and deliver their grievances in increasingly loud voices to be heard over the other. Rosalba put a stop to it with a curt little motion of her hand. "Stop!"
Her lover, standing just inside the door with her arms crossed over her chest and looking for all the world like a five-year-old a breath away from throwing a temper tantrum, immediately grew quiet. It took Ubaldina a moment to peter out into silence as well.
Rosalba waited a moment more before nodding. "Good. I will hear you both." A look to Ubaldina. "You start."
"Cleotilde has gone loco." Ubaldina sighed, no longer as loud or as irritated. "As you know, I am taking Perestroika to the next village in the morning to be bred, and as I was checking up on her just now, I found this one" An accusing finger pointed at Cleotilde. "stealing her!"
"I was not stealing her!" Was Cleotilde's angry outburst at the accusation. "I was liberating her!"
Sometimes, just sometimes, Rosalba wondered at how her husband The Pig had handled his job, and if he had ever been faced with problems such as the ones she did. After all, in all modesty Rosalba was much more intelligent and strong-willed than the no good swine, and she often found herself baffled. Plus, Rosalba could read.
"Cleo," She began carefully, rubbing her temples to ward off a slight ache that was settling there. "why were you stealing or liberating Perestroika?"
The question had Cleotilde change from standing there with a posture as if she was waiting to be scolded, to rushing forward to lean on Rosalba's desk, eyes wide and earnest. "She is taking her to a male! Forcing her to, to, to..."
Ubaldina made a rude noise and rolled her eyes, while Rosalba, secretly charmed with her lover's concern for the village cow, reached over to pat Cleotilde's hand soothingly.
"Cleotilde, we brought this up at the last village meeting, remember? The girls are taking Perestroika to be bred so that we may eventually have two cows providing milk for all of us." Absently Rosalba began stroking a bare arm instead. "You were there, you know that the vote was almost unanimously in favour."
Thinking back though, the only vote against had been Cleotilde.
"But, but... nobody asked Perestroika!" A sad and upset little pout made its appearance. "What if she doesn't want to go to no nasty bull?"
Slightly flushed Rosalba turned wide eyes on Ubaldina, clearly asking for help. Ubaldina blushed just a little herself, although not for the same reason as Rosalba who probably wanted to drag her lover into the back and ravish her Ubaldina figured, because she was reluctantly charmed that someone cared that much for her cow. It had nothing to do with the attractive and usually self-assure woman pouting adorably before her, oh no, Ubaldina knew she preferred the men.
"I know my vaca." She explained. "She does not mind a visit to the bull, she has done that before... although it was some time ago now. If she does not like him she will reject him, and I will take her away."
"Are you sure?" Cleotilde asked suspiciously while Rosalba, unseen by the former, gave Ubaldina a grateful look.
"Of course! I have had Perestroika since she was a baby." It was proud and fond words, Ubaldina cared a great deal for her cow. "It will be good for her to have a daughter in the village. She will like the company, I think."
"See?" Rosalba asked, smiling reassuringly at her lover. "Perestroika will be taken good care of. And just think, in..." She trailed off and looked questioningly at Ubaldina.
"About the same time as it takes a woman." The resident cow expert shrugged.
"...in early spring, then, we will have a baby calf around. I bet it would be very cute."
Cleotilde attempted to scoff and appear as if the thought of cute baby calves were something that did not interest her in the slightest, but it was a poor performance at best.
"Can you promise not to try to liberate Perestroika again?" Rosalba asked, hiding her smile.
A slightly grumpy nod and a shuffling of feet was her answer.
"You could... go give her... a brushing... maybe?" Ubaldina suggested slowly, watching the spectacle and feeling somewhat bad for the other woman. As a result Cleotilde perked up slightly and, with a brief look and nod at Rosalba, took off to presumably find the cow.
She left silence and two women staring at the door in her wake.
"She is rather... sensitive, isn't she?" Ubaldina asked after a long moment.
"Yes." Rosalba sighed happily, a dreamy smile on her lips. "She is a very delicate person."
Then both women realized with whom they were speaking, and with an awkward sense of embarrassment said their goodbyes, Ubaldina fleeing the room and Rosalba pretending to go over paperwork while in truth spending her time thinking of her beautiful Cleotilde.
So it was that roughly nine months later the first birth in the village since the startling events that had left them mostly without men, was the birth of a calf. Cecilia and Ubaldina presided over the birth, with a horrified Rosalba watching and gasping but at least mostly keeping out of the way, until Cecilia could go outside and declare to the waiting women and a nervously pacing Cleotilde that it was in fact a female calf.
Although technically belonging to Ubaldina, it would soon not be an unusual sight to see the woman who liked to appear tougher than anyone walking around with the young calf in tow, petting it and talking to it with delight.
The calf would, on Cleotilde's suggestion, be named Brownelle.
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