Friday, October 14, 2016

I thought I'd post a little something different his month. I belong to Texas Mountain Trail Writers that meet monthly in the Alpine, Texas area. Each year in the spring they host a retreat, and if possible I  go. One of the activities is to write a short story to be shared around the campfire. The stories, along with monthly contributions from writing prompts are compiled and published in the yearly Chaos West of the Pecos.

Here is one of my contributions.

The Old Cowboy
Under Texas Skies

            Rex yawned, then stood and shook out his legs to ease the kinks from his aging hips. Sleeping on the ground left his old bones sore each morning. His cowboyin’ days were about over. Retirement would be welcome.
            Heck, he’d miss working on the range—the quiet at night but for the lowing of cattle, cowboys chewing the fat while drinking coffee and playin’ cards, and starring up at a million stars under the inky black Texas sky. Of course the days were filled with hours of running after steers eatin’ dust, and cutting animals out for shots, worming, or castration. Rex had been doing it for years and his body now protested.
            More than once he’d been kicked while herding cattle. Joe, the owner of the Circle C had taken him straight away to get patched up. Joe insisted Rex sleep in the house so he and the missus could check on him during the night. Joe wouldn’t let him go back to the bunk house until Rex stopped weaving when he walked. His boss was that kind of man. He took care of his crew.
            Cookie had the fire built. The smell of coffee and bacon filled the crisp, fall air and tickled his nostrils. His mouth watered. That Cookie was one fine trail cook. Rex wandered to the bushes to take care of his morning business.
He returned to find the men in line for victuals. Cookie heaped their plates with bacon, eggs, biscuits, and gravy and they crowded around the fire to eat. Some stood, a few squatted, and others sat on the ground. Rex sat down near where Joe usually sat and waited. Joe usually brought him a plate. Today was no different.
While they ate, Joe talked to him. “Rex, I hate to say this, but it’s time for you to retire. I’ll sure miss you. You’ve been a good hand.”
Just a minute before, Rex had been ready, but now he wasn’t so sure. He looked over at Joe hoping he’d change his mind.
“Now, don’t turn those soulful eyes on me. No doubt about it, you’re getting slow. I don’t want to see you get hurt badly.”
Well, darn, neither did he.
“Sam is ready to take your place.”
Hell yes, he was. Sam was his son, wasn’t he? His offspring were smart and Rex had trained the boy himself.
“Anyway, you can stay around the barn and entertain the ladies doc brings out for breeding. He thinks you produce quality whelps.”
Rex sat up straighter. Not a bad job for an old retired cowhand.
Joe laughed and slapped his knee. The other men chuckled.

Joe scratched Rex’s ears. “I knew you were a smart dog. You’re a credit to your Australian dingo and English sheepdog ancestors.”

Thank you for stopping by. I'd be pleased for you to leave a comment.
Happy Reading and Writing!


  1. Nooo...oh, this was a wonderful little story. I did not suspect Rex was a dog until the word "whelp". Thanks for something different, Linda--You always have been an excellent author. You know how to hold your audience.

    1. Well, thank you, Celia. Your opinion means a great deal to me!

  2. Cute story, and what a cute dog! He looks similar to one of mine.

    1. He is cute. I think the breed is pretty much the ultimate in cow dogs. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  3. I enjoyed reading your story. It's fun to get lots of point of view. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Paisley. I'm with you on the povs. Adds a little spice.


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