Slim Randles' Home Country
Young again before breakfast
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slowly, after Steve and Snort were already through two big pastures
and into the birth of the hills. Sure was pretty, too, he noticed.
Kinda pink and made everything glow.
"Pretty as a pocketful of baby mouses," he thought, smiling. The
strangeness didn't take place until they'd started up the mountain
toward Steve's cabin ... the one with the turret overlooking the
He noticed it wasn't winter anymore. He was wearing a
long-sleeved shirt, but not a jacket, and it wasn't cold. No snow on
the ground. But there was snow last night. This was strange, so he
reached up to scratch his chin and think about it. It was a skin-scratcher,
no doubt about it. But that just made things more mysterious because
Steve didn't touch his gray beard when he scratched. He had
mysteriously become clean-shaven.
And something was different about Snort. Any cowboy can tell his
own horse in the pitch dark, just by the way he feels when he walks
or trots. And this wasn't Snort. He reined the horse into the early
morning light to look at his head. Why ... it's Jimmy! But that
can't be. Jimmy was his horse in the early days of roping in rodeos.
He'd buried Jimmy 40 years ago.
[to top of second
But there he was. Steve reached forward to pat Jimmy on the neck,
and he realized he didn't have the pains in his back or shoulders
Well, he reined Jimmy to a stop and looked around. They were
going up the mountain, but it wasn't the same mountain with the
cabin. It was the mountain behind the home place back in Montana.
And the light came up gradually, and Steve sat and smiled and
didn't know what was happening, and didn't care. This might be ...
No. Of course not.
Then he woke up, groaned and pulled on his boots. Time for
breakfast. But somehow he had to smile, too. You know, that wasn't a
bad deal. Not a bad deal at all.
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