A Bit of the Western Frontier, with an unhuman twist--720 words
The Mighty Steed
"C'mon Rango. Tain't so steep ya cain't jus' sit yer haunches en slaad down."
With two quick kicks of Boyd's heels into both sides of his sturdy mount, the horse took the first step down the steep gravelly hill, and Boyd leaned back, pulled back on the reigns just enough to get Rango to lean back also. Rango, with his front legs stiff forward and his back feet braced forward, and Boyd his feet braced forward in the stirrups over his mount's shoulders; horse and rider slid down the hill all the way to a shallow ledge.
"HO-O BOY! You are the dandiest." Boyd patted his trusty steed grinning over with pride and excitement. Rango snorted several times to clear the cloud of dirt from his flared nostrils and shook his head and neck. Once the dust settled from their recent passage down the hill, Boyd clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth and the back of his teeth and leaned forward in his saddle. Rango plodded along the trail leading down into the flats of the range.
"We dun it, O Rango, O Boy. We dun it rat proper. We got the bags full o' gold from the stage an' nobody will follow us on the trail we took..."
"Boyd. Boyd? Oh there you are."
"Time fer lunch. C'mon wash up, Rango will still be thar when yer dun wi' yer nap."
Boyd looked up from his now quiet horse, disappointment threatened to cloud him over with rain.
"C,mon. It's time to eat."
"AHHHH, MAHM! I was getting away clean n proper. Rango an' me, we got the stage gold an' were headin' fer the great mountains west."
Dorothy Gredstein grinned down at her son. "Yes dear, I know." She helped her son from the back of the homemade rocking horse he called Rango. His daddy would be proud to know his son loved the barrel and dowels and springs he'd assembled to keep his son imagining adventures.
"Tell you what, even outlaws got to eat and their horses rest and get watered after a hard get away. While you wash up, imagin' ya came up on a clear pond fed by a spring."
Boyd smiled, let loose the gird-strap and lifted saddle and pad from Rango's sweat-wet back. He patted Rango on the neck and gave him a hug, then let his mount find a spot to roll. There was plenty of grass, and the watering hole was cool and clear. He washed his face and hands and sat at the table for his sandwich, soup and milk.
"Mahm, when will daddy be back?"
Dot smiled. "He will be back the end of this week."
Boyd smiled and counted the days til the end of the week. "Thas' only four days."
"Yep. He promised to be home Sunday after church."
"After church?" Boyd's smile fell.
"Yes, Boyd. After church."
"I know, I know. But even outlaws went to church on Sundays; they more than the law abiding folk knew the power of the good Lord's love and forgiveness."
Boyd scowled up at his mother. But, she was sincere and believed what she told him, so he wondered about a Sunday-go-to-church outlaw. He'd heard often enough that worship was for sinners and robbers were more sinners than those who just lived their lives nice and proper. Maybe, his mom was right at that. Maybe, even outlaws needed to know the Lord loved them and would forgive them when they finally saw the light. He finished his lunch and his mom washed his face and hands then scooted him off to his room for a nap.
He settled in and Dorothy sat next to her son holding a thin book and smiling. "You up for a story?"
Boyd looked at the cover, it was black, green and orange. The story of the 'Prodigal Son.'
He smiled and nodded. Dorothy read to her son for twenty minutes and, as she finished. she leaned over and kissed Boyd on the cheek, reached just behind his neck under his hairline, and flipped the toggle that would place him in sleep mode. She stooped and smiled lovingly as a doting mother should. She turned and sat in the overstuffed chair by the window, set her own internal clock to wake her in fifty-nine minutes, then flipped her sleep toggle and took a nap herself.