Writer's Note: Sorry I made you wait a few days before part 2. I had a lot of media requests for interviews last week with the Super Bowl and all.
Cookie was one of those horses that only comes around once in a lifetime...enough speed to catch the fastest calf, shoulders with the strength of a Lebanon Red Cedar, his eyes as keen as the Red Tailed hawk, ears like whitetail deer, and a heart like that of Mother Teresa, Ghandi and a little bit of Mike Tyson...in case there was a need for a fight.
The old cowboy trusted this horse, and that's why he talked to him, "What do ya hear? Trouble?"
Just then something whizzed past the old cowhand's head.
Now having never served in the military, due to a knee injury he sustained during a caber tossing competition while he was on a cowboy exchange program in the Scottish Highlands, he didn't recognize the sound right away. But it only took a split second for him to know this was trouble, of a serious nature.
He had been in tight situations before, like the time he had to smote his brother for eating the last of the cookies on HIS 9th birthday. The 10 mile trail ride with his grand daughter where their only rations were a can of soda and some sunflower seeds. The church league softball game where a baserunner didn't slide into home like required...the old boy floored him and kicked some dirt in his general direction, instagating the first ever bench clearing "rubarb" in Huron Church League Softball history. The run in with Campus Security at a college library, and the day he and his family almost came to blows with the overzealous owner of a golf ball driving range at Lake Okoboji. He was always a peaceful man, unless pushed.
There was an inner beast waiting down deep in his soul, the beast was there, just waiting for the message to rip off his shirt to show his chiseled pectoral muscles and defend his honor...this was one of those times.
Staving the urge to rip his shirt off, he refocused his attentions.
Was it what he thought?
Then it happed again...ZING.
Some FOOL was shooting at him.
The days of always carrying a gun had been long gone for this cowboy. He quit leathering a loaded piece 'round about the time when his trusty sidekick "Brother Phil" put a slug of lead into his own leg.
After that mishap and almost losing Phil, his most trusted human friend, the gunfighter image quickly wore out it's welcome. He dropped the "Bob-a-louie-guts" moniker right beside his 9-shot pearl handled .22 pistol and it's holster.
He would be a cattle man, not a gunfighter, but he never could quite walk away from his gunfighter past. He did it now for competition. Wax bullets shot at an old street sign. The people called it Cowboy Fastdraw, and it was the only way to harness the beast within, as the new era of society didn't look kindly on those who packed iron.
So this day, as like most days, his trusty Colt .45 was sitting in his house. Just when he needed it most, he had left it behind. There was no fight to be had from his end, just flight.
Quickly he surveyed the area. There isn't much cover in these parts. The tree belt was to thin and there was a chance for a stray bullet to make it through the maze of branches. He noticed a dried out dugout stock dam, pulled the reins on his horse and dropped his spurs into the breast of the horse for action.
Cookie, being the brains of this operation, was already thinking the same thing. Just make it to that cover, before we take a piece of hot lead in the flesh. He turned tail and ran, like Barbaro, without the broken leg.
Then another shot rang out...KA-ZZZZZING...just over their heads.
Only 87 meters from safety...but could they make it in time.
(To Be Continued)