One day our youngest son, who was a freshman in high school at the time, came to me with an air of anxiousness. This was not surprising; after all, his life brimmed with such worries as fitting in at school and deciding which kind of hair gel to use.
    I was reading a newspaper when the boy quietly asked, “Dad? Do you know what girls want?”     
    I quickly put down the newspaper and glanced around to determine if his mother was nearby. Seeing that she was not, I replied, “No. Why do you ask? What did you find out? Tell me! C’mon, give your old man a break.”     
    “That’s not what I meant. Suppose there’s a certain girl who told her best friend that she likes a certain boy. Then the friend tells the boy. What should I, um, I mean, the boy, do?”     
    I leaned back and savored the moment. This was the kind of situation every father dreams of, namely, an excuse to recycle some of his unfortunate experiences as wisdom and foist his putative sagacity onto his offspring. An illustrative parable was in order, so here is what I told the lad.   
    Once upon a time there was an impoverished yet handsome young prince who decided to become a dairy farmer. To that end, the young prince leased a ramshackle little farm and assembled a small herd of Holsteins.     
    At first, the handsome young prince was thoroughly contented with his life as a bovine husbandman. But ere long, a vague yearning overtook him. There arose within his breast a longing for companionship, specifically, the type of companionship that is associated with an individual of the opposite gender.     
    The young prince set out upon a quest to locate such a person. He eventually found a young damsel who met his stringent requirements, that is, she was willing to go out with him. He secretly thought she looked a lot like Scarlett Johansson.     
    The young prince, in an effort to impress the young damsel, invited her to his farm. He and the damsel were taking a perambulatory tour of his dairy when she stepped in fresh cow flop. The young prince guffawed, perceiving it as an attempt at buffoonery. The damsel became quite upset and used some very unladylike language.    
    Hoping to smooth things over, the young prince suggested a romantic motor excursion to the pasture in his pickup. This, too, did not go well. The young damsel thumped her head on the roof of the pickup’s cab when the prince hit a large bump at high speed. Expletives tumbled from the damsel’s lips at quantities commonly associated with Niagara Falls. The young prince privately noted how much she resembled Joan Rivers.     
    The handsome young prince, desperate to salvage the evening, suggested they take a tour of his rickety old farmhouse. The young damsel gruffly rebuffed this idea and harshly commanded she be returned to her abode posthaste.     
    His hopes dashed, the young prince went to start his pickup and ... nothing. Inspection revealed its battery had tipped over, rendering the starter powerless. Their only option, said the prince, was for the damsel to spend the night. She forthwith denounced the prince as “fresh” and forcefully uttered a multitude of unprintable words and phrases. She further avowed she would rather walk home.     
    This deeply wounded the prince’s sense of chivalry. He suggested he could convey the damsel to her domicile upon his tractor. She agreed, but only after the prince assured her that no chicanery would take place.     
    And so, the young prince found himself jostling along on a nighttime country road in the cab of his trusty 4020 with the young damsel sharing the crowded tractor seat. The damsel screeched something unintelligible over the roar of the engine. The prince sensed she was saying something about a discomfort in her posterior. He noted how closely she resembled Roseanne.     
    Upon arriving safely at her dormitory, the young prince leapt from the tractor cab and gallantly assisted the damsel as she dismounted. For a brief, shining moment, they looked deeply into each other’s eyes. The young prince leaned toward the damsel whereupon she gave him an inelegant shove and said, “Don’t even think about it.” She then turned on her heel and stomped off.
     The young prince returned to his lonesome dairy farm but deemed himself fortunate for upon further reflection he realized that the damsel was a dead ringer for Steve Buscemi.     
    “Is there a moral to that story?” asked our son.     
    “Just that you can never predict what a girl wants. Because you never know who she might be.”
    Jerry is a recovering dairy farmer from Volga, S.D. He and his wife, Julie, have two grown sons and live on the farm where Jerry’s great-grandfather homesteaded over 110 years ago. Jerry currently works full time for the Dairy Star as a staff writer/ad salesman. Feel free to E-mail him at: jerry.n@dairystar.com.