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by WaylandCybersmith

(Not totally original, but my particular take on the tale)

A cowboy has been wandering the Nevada desert for a week and a half, surviving on whatever he can find. Hungry, tired and exhausted he sees a light in the distance. As he approaches he sees a ramshackle house out in the middle of nowhere.

He struggles to the door, each step more agonising than the last. Eventually he gets there and knocks weakly.
An old man answers the door and, seeing the cowboy, drags him in, sitis him down and gives him a tall pitcher of water and a piece of dry bread.
The cowboy thanks the old man and says "I'm a deputy. I need to warn the next town that the Gaunt Gang is a-coming. Can you help me?"
The old man scratches his stubbly beard, looks to the ceiling for inspiration and says "Waall, I don't rightly know."
He thinks some more and adds "I do have a horse you could borrow, but it's a strange varmint. Owned by a reverend."
The cowboy's eyes brighten with hope and curiosity. "Thank you, but what is so strange about it?"
"Well, ya see," the old man began "This reverend was very worried someone would steal his horse, so he trained it only to go when the rider says 'Thank God' and to stop when the rider says 'Praise the Lord.'"
The cowboy thanks the old man for all his help, and with promises to remember what he had said and to return the horse, he starts off.
Absent-mindedly he presses his spurs into the horse's side. It doesn't move.
"Got to say the words." the old man calls out.
"Thank God" the cowboy says and the horse starts trotting. "How do you make him go faster?" He calls to the old man.
"Just say it again."
"Thank God." The horse breaks into a canter.
"Thank God." It begins to gallop.
"Thank God." It gallops so swiftly, the cowboy has to wrap the reins around his hands to keep a grip.
As day dawns, he looks into the distance through sleepy eyes and sees a chilling sight.
About half a mile ahead is a cliff edge.
And the horse gallops closer and closer.
The cowboy sees the canyon opening up ahead of him.
He pulls the reins up, but the horse does not stop.
"The words." He thinks. "What are the words."
"Hallelujah." The horse gallops on, not turning right or left.
"Amen." The cliff edge appears to rush toward him.
"Hosanna." The horse is almost at the cliff edge and shows no sign of stopping."
"Praise The Lord." The horse stops so fast it almost throws the cowboy off. He holds on to the horses neck and looks down the canyon, 200 feet to the floor below. He watches as the odd stone kicked up by the horse tumbles and rolls down the cliff side.
Getting his composure back, he sits up on the horse, wipes his brow and says: "Thank God!”


© Colin Nelson www.waycyber.com






© WaylandCybersmith 2011


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