- Herdy Praeschen
Herdy Praeschen had the widest shoulders I had seen on a woman. Her forehead was also wide and deep like a panel on an automobile, a truck. Her deep, dark and rounded eyes were set above high cheekbones stained with a caramel coloured paint. She had a lean, angular nose which descended and broadened to full, flattened nostrils. The wide, generous lips of true feminine health completed the tragic beauty of her face adorned with two white circles, perfectly painted roundels, one on each cheek.
She wore her two breasts like loaded panniers and seemed to invite you to view them by her proud, unashamed posture. Everything about Herdy was to be seen. Her dark sienna skin, her long, lean, slightly bowed legs, muscular slender arms, tapering fingers. The chocolate-brown bush of her crotch, standing out like the hair on her head which completed a ring around her head.
‘What is your name?’ I asked, to answer her challenging pose.
After she had replied, she asked my name also.
‘David Store’ I replied.
‘The trouble is,’ I said ‘the sight of a naked woman always excites me.’
Herdy Praeschen drew your soul like a priest at a confessional.
‘Of course,’ she replied, ‘and do you suppose it is different for a woman, if she were to see a desirable man?’
I searched her body to see if she wore any kind of jewellery. Any ring or necklace, a hair slide but there was nothing. She was indeed completely naked.
‘Well no’ I replied at last.
‘It is only the arrogance of a man who would suppose a naked woman is offering herself to him. A woman would not assume a naked man would want to take her. She would ask herself, ‘Does this man desire me?’ or maybe ‘How can I make this man desire me?”
‘Well I’m not sure if that is right’, I found myself responding. ‘Do not women accept men they do not desire?’
Herdy now spoke with a certain authority and it seemed the experience of women down through the ages. She spoke with the fewest well-chosen words. She continued.
‘Unless, of course she has been violated in some way and lost her joy of life, then she might. Or maybe to get something else that she wants but then she would be a prostitute. Whoever heard of a woman raping a man?’
‘No, I havent heard of it but I am sure it must have happened,’ I stuttered.
‘You are young and very nieve Monsieur.
Think about it. How could a woman rape a man?’
Herdys’ smile as she cocked her head to one side begged the question.
‘You see? The woman must always make the man desire her, capiche? Do you understand? A woman may not dominate a man in that way. Only by seduction. You see this is why women are more subtle than men.
You turn the switch on. You turn the switch off.
A woman must use all her charms to make a man love her.’
‘I cannot quite see it that way,’ I answered her with due consideration.
‘That would suggest a man never uses charm, never uses subtilty, just takes what he wants.’
‘Yes, a sort of subtilty I suppose but a man need only do half the job, if that. A woman must convince the man, seduce the man, arouse the man.
Unless she has lost her joy of life or she is drunk.’
‘Surely it is the same with men Mademoiselle.’
‘Oh I can see you are just a stubborn male and so if I said to you now, we could make love, you would say?…’
‘I would say, sure, that would be fine.’
’But Monsieur, I do not desire you.’
‘Then why are you suggesting it to me Mademoiselle?’
‘I was being hypothetical Monsieur! You would make love to me because I excite you but now suppose I do not excite you. Would you make love to me then?’
‘Yes, I might still, just to relieve the boredom.’
‘If I were ugly, deformed, scarred, would I excite you? Would you make love to me then?’ Herdy spoke with fervour and passion. It made her breasts bounce delightfully. “Would you make love to me then Monsieur?’
‘No, probably not.’ I stuttered.
‘But Monsieur if I found a way to excite you, for you to love me even while I was ugly, deformed or scarred?’
‘Oh, I don’t know where this is leading Mademoiselle.’
‘Well most men are just bastardos anyway and would fuck a sheep if they needed to.’ With that Herdy turned away slightly, revealing her best profile.
‘Can we talk of something else Mademoiselle? Perhaps we could find you some clothes and then I would not be so excited by you.’
‘Maybe not, maybe so? Then, what else would you prefer to talk of?’
‘Well, nothing really…. I enjoy talking to you like this Mademoiselle.’
‘Is it stimulating to you? Does it arouse you Monsieur?
‘Yes Mademoiselle it is very stimulating, very arousing!’
‘Then you will need to go somewhere with your hand,’ Herdy motioned with a clasped hand.
‘You can do the job for yourself then, because I am not to be yours Monsieur because I do not desire you.’
‘Then you are the worst kind of woman Mademoiselle. You are just a tease and a frustration.’
Herdy stood proudly against the setting sun as though before a mirror. She exuded a self-possession and inner grace I found totally captivating. She began to smile a warm, happy smile that grew into a laugh. She was laughing now a curious laugh with a giggle in it that made her seem much younger; more now like a girl rather than a woman.
‘And so, your argument switches now to insults because you cannot have what you want. You cannot have your way with me. Because Monsieur you have no control, no subtilty, no charm. Your frustration is my fault. I am just a big tease and a frustration, nothing more. Although I have not encouraged you or seduced you or even spoken kindly to you, just polite Monsieur, always polite. I have just stood before you naked.’
‘Yes Mademoiselle, naked and that is why you are a tease.’
‘Monsieur, we began our formalities with your admission that your problem is that the sight of a naked woman always excites you.’
Herdy Praeschen leaned back and sighed. With that she turned slowly and began to walk away. Her lean muscular back and buttocks faintly glistening and her perfect outline caught as a dark silhouette against the evening sunshine.
She quickened her walking pace as though to break into a sprint as the silence of the moment was now broken by my urgent call, resounding of the purple hills to the east.
‘Oh don’t go Herdy! Dont go, I want to talk. I’m sorry!
Herdy, don’t go, I need to talk to you!’
But she had broken into a bounding long step, as graceful as any Impala and I could only watch in awe as this champion of female grace and power zeroed slowly from my sight.
I have since considered my all to brief interview with the beautiful Herdy Praeschen.
I had now met at least met one woman truly worthy of that description.
I have debated and considered my conversation with her on that strange and fortunate day. How might I have shown the subtilty she spoke of when she drew my words from me like a poultice might draw poison?
How might I have kept her in my gaze and charmed her as she suggested only women can?
How might I have turned her thoughts as mine were by her naked form? Should I have thrown off shirt and shorts and stood before her, as she to me, we then like two Cheetahs on heat? Should I have trusted my body and not my words and my flawed arguments?
No, Herdy was so right and I must and have, learned to live with that.
My only recompense was my fifteen/twenty minutes with her, the sight of her fabulous body. Her words, like sweet honey from a rock and in that short time with her, the fact that she taught me so much about women. About being a woman, loving like a woman and what it must be to feel like a woman.
The sun was beginning to sink as Herdy Praeschen walked into our camp and I alone was there to greet her. The sun was disappearing behind the few Baobab trees to the west as she bounded from my sight. I never saw or spoke to her again.\
authors note ~ in this essay or short story i have tried to reflect the different male/female philosophies of the age old man/woman problem and debate.. not to be controversial or erotic but just to tell a tale in a modern way.. an honest tale.. it is meant to leave the reader asking loads of questions about the story, location, characters and their own ideas on sexuality, morality, faithfulness and other issues.. where is the story set, who are the characters, what nationality, what are they doing?. it is a fable.. hopefully, a pastiche of unsettling uncertainties that might help us to think about being free of stereotypical responces and question our own raw feelings and attitude to the opposite sex.. to get back to the joy of who we really are.. in this way i hope it does reflect a certain positive spirituality that the reader might recognise. edenbray