Cattle Drive

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A short little story about moving Long Horned Cattle. Wait, did I mention the Strangers?

The scene is an open grassy plain, and it appears that there are cattle everywhere.

It is 1868 and a Cattle Drive is going on, Texas style. That means it began on the Chisholm Trail Head, and the cattle were being driven north out of DeWitt County, Texas.

After crossing Central Texas, they drive the cattle to the Cattle Markets in Kansas; there, they are sold at action.

This particular Cattle Drive got started a little late in the season. Cowboys were scarce and hiring was slow due to the increasing amounts of Longhorn Cattle being driven to the Markets outside of Texas.


As we move into the area of conversation, we hear the Cattle's owner, (T. J. "Buck" Owens), talking to the Trail-boss, a Jeremiah Biggs.

"Well Biggs, we got a late start but the last three days have been gonin' our way. I think we have pertineer made up for lost time. Don't you?"

After biting off a chunk of chewing tobacco, Biggs replied, "No tellin' Boss, those clouds that are ah formin' overhead might bring rain, that would slow us down some.

And I'd be a site happier if we had a few more Cowhands to help with the cattle."


After and hour or so, the wind picked up and the clouds overhead decided to put on a light show. Lightning was jumping from cloud to cloud, unsettling the cattle and the cowpunchers too. But luckily none of the lightning was hitting the ground, so the cattle stayed somewhat controlled.

Well, the show was short-lived and there was no rain to speak of.

But something other than rain did come along. Three strangers appeared on a hill overlooking the heard of cattle.


Biggs rode his horse up to where his Boss was at and asked, "Where in Sam-hill did they come from?

Buck looked in the direction Biggs pointed, then replied, "Don't know, there ain't no water in that direction, if that is where they came from, and there ain't nothin' but dirt and dry brush. They'd have to be camels to have made it across that patch of prairie."

The three men on horseback rode to the point Biggs and Buck were at, and after the customary tipping of their hats and exchanging of names, one Doug McAllister asked, "Are you looking for help?"

{The appearance of strangers brought several of Buck's Wrangles to within protection distance; nobody messes with the Boss.}

Buck looked at Biggs, and Biggs, being the trail-boss, answered the stranger's question with, "We could use Ramrods, or some seasoned Drovers, that would be to our like-in."

McAllister replied, "We can do it all, and we're looking for work.

"Where did you come from?" Buck asked, with eyes squinting from the bright sunlight.

McAllister replied, "Might be that the trail dust was blocking your view.

We heard of your drive while we was in San Antonio. We heard that you needed cowhands and you was passing through DeWitt County, headed for Kansas. So we decided to try and ketch up."

Buck took his hat off and scratched his head, then he looked at Biggs and nodded his head.

Biggs looked at the three men and said, "Your late to start but we are in need of men, so the pay is $25 each, as long as you're with us all the way to Dodge City.

If those wages suite you, then your hired."


Sometime later in the week, Buck asked his Trail-boss, "Well Biggs, how are the newcomers come-in along?"

Biggs replied with a tobacco stained smile, saying, "They were slow starters, but they took to their duties in no time at all. In fact, they are doing their work so well that I gave them some more stuff to do. I recommend that you up their pay, say, to Ramrod."

Buck shook his head indicating "Yes". Then he struck a wood match with his thumbnail and lit a skinny black cigar.

***
 

Once in Dodge City, and the Cattle were pinned, the Cowboys went to town for some much needed unwinding; they took the three Strangers along.

And after a several-day binge, the Three Strangers were the only Cowboys from the cattle-drive that were not incapacitated from Unwinding.

The last anyone saw of them, they were riding out of town, and to parts unknown.

{Two days later.}

 

Out in the midst of No-Man's land, a hovering spacecraft sits down on a reasonably flat stretch of ground. Then a drawbridge style door opens and the three Cowboys ride their horses up and inside the craft.

Once inside the Captain of the spacecraft greeted them and asked them how they liked their vacations.

After morphing into their normal states of being, semi-reptilian humanoids, they responded with smiles from their toothless vertical mouths.

Then, all of a sudden, large clouds of gas emerged from each of them. The gas was found to be a byproduct of the baked beans and beer. It did not present a permanent problem because it was quickly vented.



 

D. Thurmond / JEF

01-12-2021

 


Submitted: January 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Serge Wlodarski

What I got out of this is you should never buy a spaceship without a good ventilation system.

Wed, January 13th, 2021 2:44pm

Author
Reply

Exactly! --- I'm happy my "Between the Lines" message reached you. LOL

Wed, January 13th, 2021 12:36pm

Ann Sepino

I knew it! I knew they were aliens, lol! And I don't know why getting it right makes me absurdly happy, but it does. ^w^ Thank you for sharing another fun story!

Thu, January 14th, 2021 1:33pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Ann, and stay happy, it's the best.

Thu, January 14th, 2021 10:12am

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