There he sat, as he did almost every time the gate was open. Right down in front, where he could almost smell the sweat from the horses. He loved the rodeo, and greatly admired the men that rode the broncs and bulls. He dreamed that one day he himself may hold the coveted silver buckle of "All Around Cowboy". But the likelihood of that coming true was very slim, for you see he was bound to a wheelchair. A crippling disease had left it's cruel mark at birth. But he dreamed, oh how he would dream. His mother worked herself ragged almost every evening as a waitress at a local greasy spoon, but always made time to take him to his beloved rodeo. Today was to be a special day though, he actually got to sit right at the gate where the cowboys entered and exited the arena! The dust was hard to deal with at times, but it was worth it to him. He watched with excitement as each cowhand crawled onto, and most of the time got thrown from each bronc and bull. But there was a rider he hadn't seen before there today, and man could he ride! Why you would think that he was glued to the backs of those twisting four legged tornadoes, the way he hung on! The boy imagined that his father, who died just before his birth, would have been like this stranger. His dad rode the broncs, his mother had told him. But one day, he took his last ride. The bronc had won that day. But that just made the boy that much more interested in the sport. And this rider today, wasn't he something? As the day went on into the evening, he sat glued to the action. Cheering on this stranger. Then it happened. The events had come to an end, and the judges were handing out the prizes. The last one to be called was the stranger... All Around Cowboy! The boy wished that he could have stood to cheer, he was so happy that this stranger had won! But as the cowboy took the prize in his hand, he seemed to be somber as he was obviously deep in thought. The boy was puzzled over this, and wondered why the stranger acted this way. Then the stranger turned and was walking out of the arena, and strait at the boy! The boy was so excited that he may get to speak to the stranger and maybe tell him how much he had rooted for him! As the stranger passed the boy's mind raced, but he just couldn't say anything. So he remained silent. The stranger suddenly stopped though, turned and walked right up to the boy! He looked at him, smiled, and said "This is for you. You deserve this much more than me", as he laid the coveted silver "All Around Cowboy" buckle in the boy's hand. He then tipped his hat to the boy's mother that stood there in amazement, and then he just walked into the darkness. No one seemed to know who the stranger was. And come to think of it, with all of the dust and lights and shadows, no one even really got a good look at his face. "Could it have been?" he thought. "There was something very familiar about him". "Naw, that's impossible". "Well, maybe?". "Was it a dream?". "Nope", he thought, because the buckle was still there in his hand.
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