Tough Cowboy | By: Bil Nadeau | | Category: Short Story - Western Bookmark and Share

Tough Cowboy









    Tough Cowboy

   The sun was just rising above the eastern plains.

   A young cowboy came out the ranch house. 

   He said, “I’d better get my chores done.”

   The young cowboy rushed over to the barn.

   He said, “I got to feed all them calves.”

   The young cowboy went to the grain shed. He froze. It was empty.

   He said, “My chores gotta get done.”

   The young cowboy searched all over trying to find some grain. All he found was an empty grain sack behind the barn by the horse manger.

   He said, “I have to get to Herder’s feed store before they run out.”

   The young cowboy went to the saddle shed. He tossed the sack down in front of it.

   He said, “Sure can’t carry enough in them saddle bags.” 

   The young cowboy glanced over at the one horse wagon his mother used for shopping. 

   He grinned and said, “I can go shopping as well.

   The young cowboy rushed back to the horses. The best trained were out pulling the chuck wagon at the cattle roundup. 

   He shook his head and said, “Roping horses have to do,”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The young cowboy led his brown gelding over to the wagon.

   He quickly harnessed the roping horse up to it.

   The young cowboy patted the horse’s manes.

   He said, “This ain’t gonna be no cattle roping.”

   The young cowboy picked up the empty grain sack. 

   He said, “I’d better get the right grain.”

The young cowboy filled a canteen up out of the trough. He wrapped the empty grain sack around it. He tucked them under the wagon seat.

   He said, “Whiskey we gotta get your favorite.”

   The young cowboy climbed up into the wagon. 

   He said, “Heehaw.”

   The young cowboy slapped his horse with the reins.

   He yelled, “Ha! Giddy up!”

   The young cowboy reined his horse toward the trail running south from the barn.

   He said, “Race horses win.”

   The young cowboy kept the horse lopping on the trail until they made it to an arroyo.

   He jerked  the reins back and yelled, “Whoa.”

   His horse stopped  

   The young cowboy walked his horse down to the stream.

   He said, “We’re Going fishing.”

   The horse nosed the water to drink it.

   When the horse raised his head the young cowboy gently slapped him with the reins.

   He said, “There ain’t no quicksand here.”

   Another young cowboy trotted his white gelding down beside the wagon.

   He yelled out, “Hay Bill. Why you out doing mommy’s shopping?”

   Bill pulled back on the reins. His horse kept from moving. 

   Bill grinned and said, “Bob I ain’t after nothing for me to eat. We ran out of grain last night. I got to make it into town before noon and get some for our calves.”

   Bob grinned and said, “How’s that? Most of us ride into town to get some when we get down to our last couple of sacks.”                                                                                                                                                          

   Bil crossed his arms. He said, “We had plenty of grain last night. There were several grain sacks in the barn grain shed. Something got in and ate them all up last night.”

   Bob shrugged his shoulders. He said, “You mean hooves can grasp sacks and stock can pig out on their own?”

   Bill punched his left palm. He said, “No I bet someone got in and stole them. Someone who wants our calves to starve to death.”

   Bob frowned. He said, “That sounds like someone from Hijack ranch. They want to get rid of all us small ranchers. It wants to be the biggest ranch in the country.”

   Bill flipped the sun off. He said, “They’d better watch out. There ain’t no ranch tougher than ours.”

   Bob took a deep breath. He said, “Bill you’d better watch out. The oldest son is Big Bad John. That cowboy can kick just about anyone’s ass.”

   Bill rolled his eyes. He said, “Too bad I’m the youngest son. I must get my chores done no matter what. Wimp not want not.”

   Bill slapped his horse above the tail fiercely with the reins. 

   He said, “Giddy up.”   

   Bill made his horse quickly cross the stream.

   Bill reined his horse up the trail out of the arroyo.

   He yelled, “Later Bob.”

   Bill reined his horse onto the trail heading to town. 

   He yelled, “Giddy up and go.”

   Bill’s horse started lopping again.

   He sang, “Ride ‘em cowboy.”

   The trail got rough and winding. 

   Bil pulled back on the reins. His horse slowed down to trot. 

   He said, “Whiskey don’t stumble.”

   Beside a bolder the trail split.

   Bill promptly jerked the reins back. 

   He yelled, “Whoa.”

    Bill rubbed his chin.

   He said, “Huh, left is east. Right is south to town. I’d better head that way.”

  Bill leaned forward to slap his horse with the reins.

  Big Bad John jumped off the bolder onto the wagon right behind Bill. He grasped Bill around the neck.

   Bill slapped his horse with the reins as hard as he could.

    He yelled, “Giddy up whiskey. Don’t pass out.” 

   His horse spooked off lopping down the rough trail. The wagon bounced along very roughly.

   Big Bad John lost his balance. He pulled Bill off the back of the wagon with him. The cowboys broke apart when they hit the ground. Big Bad John hit his head upon a rock.

   Bill quickly stood up facing Big Bag John with his fists clinched.

   Big Bad John stood up slowly like a drunk.

   Bill broke his nose with a quick punch.

   Big Bad John staggered backwards and fell.

   Bill yelled, “Got to get whiskey to get my chores done.”

   Bill ran down the trail after the wagon. He took a shortcut through some stones. He found his horse standing under some trees.

   Bill grabbed the reins as soon as he get beside his horse. 

   He said, ”Whiskey you made my day. You saved me.

   The end

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