Hurricane and Harley

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saddle on a horse

We latched the trailer door down tight. Three horses were inside. Next stop
would be the Tetons for a day-long trail ride.

But my cell phone started ringing. It was Harley down the road. “I heard we’ve
got a ride today. I’m saddled up to load.”

I winced, then answered Harley, biting on my lower lip. “Pack yourself some
sandwiches. We’ll be there in a bit.”

Most of us knew Harley Jones, a scuffed up cowboy cuss. And when you were
around him, well, your patience was a must.

Harley was a bachelor, seemed to scare the gals away. But he always owned a
horse or maybe crowbait you could say.

And just to say a word or two ‘bout Harley and his horse. Old Harley called him
Hurricane. He was a threatening force.

The driveway down to Harley’s barn would test your driving skill. The black mud
holes then 4-wheel drive were more than just a thrill.

We couldn’t help but notice Harley looked a painful sight. I’d been told that
Hurricane and Harley had a daily fight.

Harley had a bloodied nose, his left eye swollen shut. And just below the hairline
showed a nasty two-inch cut.

It looked like Hurricane had won. Old Harley said, “Not so!  “ Hurricane’s the one
who has the saddle on, ya know.”

I opened up the trailer gate and Hurricane looked in. He blew a snort and pulled
straight back, kicked Harley in the shin.

The proof was in the pudding how the crowbait earned his fame. I’ve had a few
like him before. Now Elmer’s is their name.

My horse’s eyes were telling me. “Don’t put him in here please!”  But Hurricane
surprised us when he jumped in with such ease.

Harley needed patching up before we hit the road. A dozen bandaids, super glue
would fix him good as gold.

Harley rode the Hurricane with not a buck that day. They took the lead and set a
pace for the trail ride all the way.

Hurricane and Harley were a welcome to our group. But you learned to keep your
wits or they could throw you for a loop.

So, when it comes to riding we’ll include most anyone. Each ride’s a mix of
cowboys. That’s the recipe for fun.

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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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