Steve slowly saddled Old Snort, and climbed aboard. Kinda stiff this morning. He pulled his hat down a little lower and pulled the wild rag up to cover his nose and mouth from the morning chill.
How many mornings had he done this over the years?
As Snort trotted out into the meadows and the hills surrounding our valley, he looked with perked ears for cattle. That's what Snort does for a living.
Steve knows when the fall sun gets a little higher, he'll stretch and get younger. His gray mustache will turn brown again ... in his mind, anyway. And he'll once more be that young cowboy who terrorized stray cattle so many years ago.
He began kicking cows out and heading them back to the home pasture, and both he and Snort watched and waited for that one rogue that would make the morning complete.
It was a black baldy cow who made the dash for the high-ups and Steve and Snort were flying through trees and over rock piles and finally headed her and turned her back with the others. A 19-year-old cowboy couldn't have done it any better.
Steve smiled and reached down to pat ol' Snort on the neck.
Thanksgiving can be more than turkey and cranberry sauce.
Brought to you by Arizona's Book of the Year, "Stories from History's Dust Bin," by Wayne Winterton. Available everywhere online.