Friday, 9 August 2013

Blowin' Smoke at the Squirrel Corral

For Bunks and every other boy,
young and old, who has dreamed
the Dream of days long past.
Wild and free,
with boots and hats,
a Colt .45 and a Model 94.

This is your story.

"I did not intend that any of the band should get the drop on me if I could help it."
Wyatt Earp
(reflecting back on the fight at the OK Corral)

We were called in to clean up this town, Pa and me, we meant to do it, too. Now, Pa's a hero from way back, say 'bout '68 or so and he rode with the US Army for a bit so he knew how to shoot. Me, bein' younger an' all wasn't quite the same, but I'd wore out a gun or two myself. So with the likes of John Wayne, the Sacketts, an' the Earp brothers we were willin' to do what it took, even if it meant bein' at the ready day or night. Some mornin' it was first thing, our boots in the corner, still waitin' to be shook out. Never put your boots on without shakin' 'em first. We weren't fearful of rattlers this far north, up here it was things like bits of wood or Lego men. You never could tell.

Anyway, the women folk 'round here were gettin' fearful of all the maurdin' and thievin' that's been goin' on. Especially Ol' Ma there. And you know how she gets once she's on a roll, starts to dreamin' 'bout it all and when that happens you never know where you'll end up.
Anyway, they'd come out of those forested hills, slung low, gray and beady eyed, thinkin' they owned the place. Now the leader there, he was the worst we'd ever seen. Conniving, ruthless, and smart. We never knew if it was 'cause of his handicap or not. But smart he was. Went by the name 'One-eyed Jack'. Legendary 'round these parts. You never could tell if he was lookin' right at you with that eye or not. So it was, Pa an' me waitin' there on the floor knowing this was the day to bring 'im down.

Wanted Dead, not Alive

Then One-eyed Jack was there! Not carin' 'bout us, he'd been shot at before. But he never reckoned on havin' Ol' Pa there. Pa sighted in that ol' rifle and fired a single shot. And when the smoke settled we strung us up another tail.

Like greenhorns we marked our kills.

From my heart to yours, Jen

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