Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
TITLE: Lament of the Cowboy
By Ann Grover
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The skies were a-throng with mallards winging their way southbound.
The bawlin’ of cows and their younguns filled the frost-sweetened air.
The jinglin’ spurs were a-clinkin’.
Horseshoes on stones were a-clinkin’.
This is the life, I was thinkin’, astride my old roan mare.
At the back of the herd was the bull, a brute with razor-sharp horns.
An animal brawny and burly, no finer one ever was born.
From shoulders through flanks to his tail, a sample of perfect bovine,
But a fire inside was a-simmerin’,
His eyes like coals were a-simmerin’,
And admirin’ the trees with their shimmerin’, I failed to see the signs.
Of a sudden, he stopped and he stiffened, in a pose of stubborn protest.
He was spent, trail-weary, and heated, his chin tucked into his chest.
I gave a loud shout of encouragement, just to prod him along,
But he turned with his eyes full of scornin’,
Malevolent eyes all a-scornin’.
In a flash, I knew that this mornin’ was about to go horribly wrong.
Swirlin’ dust, he pounded the soil; a demented snake was his tail.
Hooves hammerin’ a rhythm of battle, a destroyer about to sail.
He bellowed, and the sound was a roar, a-thunderin’ down from the skies.
He aimed for me like an arrow,
A rage-filled poisonous arrow.
Fear numbed me right to the marrow, as I saw my looming demise.
I spurred my horse into action and whispered a desperate prayer.
By then, I could see up his nostrils, and the vapours of hell fumed there.
My rope, I coiled and readied and spiraled it over my head.
He sidestepped the lasso a-circlin’;
He evaded my lasso a-circlin’.
Like a freight train, he came a-hurtlin’. I was as good as dead.
Hot snot rained down when he snorted, and he struck my horse in the haunch,
Dislodgin’ me from the saddle, a stone from a slingshot launched.
I dropped in a tangle of brambles; my breath, I struggled to seize.
With his snout, he sent me a-spinnin’.
Round and round, I was spinnin’.
I swear he was wickedly grinnin’, as I staggered and ran for the trees.
My hands were a-skinned and a-bleedin’, and I climbed as far as I could.
That bull was a-thumpin’ the tree trunk, sendin’ tremors up through the wood.
I feared the quakin’ would loose me, plungin’ me into his path,
Like a tick on a dog, I was claspin’.
For my sweet, dear life, I was claspin’,
Certain I was on my last gaspin’, succumbin’ to rank bullish wrath.
Stompin’ and stampin’ and tramplin’, his anger ablaze like a fire,
His shoulders a-pushin’ and shovin’, stamina strengthened by ire,
This won’t end well, I considered, so I reckoned a way to attack.
I heard a loud crack and a shatterin’.
I feared the tree was a-shatterin’.
The only thing that’s a-matterin’, was to get that bull to turn back.
It’s a misery, I know, and a sorrow, but needful if I would survive,
With a hand that was sorry and sore, I reached for my ol’ forty-five.
I cocked back the hammer, pulled downward, and shot him above his red eyes.
He fell and took up a-roarin’.
His dyin’ lament was a roarin’,
Around him, the blood was outpourin’; then silence o’ershadowed his cries.
It’s a tale that don’t bear repeatin’ too often or with boastful mirth,
For each creature’s life is sacred the moment it’s breathin’ at birth.
Soberin’ it is when obliged, endin’ a life in the peak of its prime,
Yet an animal bent on destroyin’,
In fury and fierceness destroyin’,
It’s a deed I’m never enjoyin’, takin’ a life ahead of its time.
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