A bumpy ride


The day was turning into night and all the stock was fed. Four cowboys hopped

into the truck, drooling of fun ahead.

The hour was right for young cowhands. The night was theirs to grab. Two boys

rode in the pickup bed, two others in the cab.

A stop was made at Merkle’s store for cans of Orange Crush. If they’d known

what lay ahead would they have been in such a rush?

Bryce was driving, Kerry shotgun, Thane and Ross in back, the time had come for

those up front to get some fun on track.

Kerry grabbed the extra Orange Crush from off the seat. He popped the lid and

said, “Let’s cool ’em off from all the heat!”

He opened up the window, poured the Crush out in the air. The two in back were

promptly soaked from head to derriere.

Ross didn’t see the humor, thought the two in front should pay. He reached to

throw his soda pop and stretched too far one way.

The rig was doing 55 when Ross fell off the truck. His head and neck bounced off

the wheels. I guess you’d call that luck.

Thane was yelling, “Stop the truck. I think we’ve just killed Ross!” He was

bouncing down the pavement like a baseball being tossed.

Bryce was laughing right until he glanced up in the mirror. His face turned whiter

than a sheet. He shifted down the gears.

The truck came screeching to a stop, three cowboys on their feet. They figured

they were running to a pulp of blood and meat.

To their surprise, Ross stood right up, as proof he wasn’t dead. Just scratched and

scraped and traumatized from foot to top of head.

Ross was known throughout the town as one who liked to brawl. Would Bryce

and Kerry take the heat for Ross’s nasty fall?

But Ross was glad to be alive and said he held no ire. The situation turned out

well. Things could have been more dire.

The years went by, and all four cowboys grew up into men. I’ve heard it said that

no one saw us ride in back again.

Our younger days were full of pranks and most involved our truck. And the

reason that we stayed alive was providence, not luck.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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