“Dear Lord, please hear my prayer,” he whispered with his head and hat down as if afraid to face the creator in the crepuscular sky above. “My Whiskey-Girl is a headstrong, flighty pony at best, but she’s my chosen horse for better or for worse. I know that you realize we’ve been through a lot together over the years. I’m sure you can recall and very probably have it written down somewhere in your big ol’ judgement day book all the piss and vinegar times we been in together. Hell, all them bank hold-ups and them getaways down in Abilene and that hell-hole Sonora. It’s a damn wonder how we come to live through it all. I beseech you Lord bring her back to me one last time. Because if you don’t, and I don’t blame you if you don’t, I just can’t go on without her and I don’t really want to try. We both know that she has a tendency to roam. It’s just her way, but I love her beyond measure Lord. I promise if you do this one thing for me I will follow the path of righteousness in your name forever and ever… Amen.”
(First light under a softening purple sky)
“Well, well, well… would you just lookey here,” the sleepy-eyed cowboy breathed out with a little smile. There standing silently just across the dying campfire from him was his truant palomino, still fully saddled and steady. “If it ain’t lil’ miss prissy. Nice of you to stop by Whiskey-Girl. I was beginnin’ to be a might concerned don’t you know.”
Whiskey shook her golden crest and withers up and down, up and down as if acknowledging his playful sarcastic words.
“Hungry or are you itchin’ to get back on the trail lil’ girl?”
She whinnied a few times in a display of equine impatience. She was ready to ride on.
The cowboy nodded back in kind and then shook his head with a wag of sublime submission. He had her back and that was all that mattered now. He gathered up his parts and paraphernalia, scrubbed out the pissy campfire and saddled up. She had gotten her way once again. They turned-to and rode off into the lustrous silver dollar sun as it breached the peaks and precipices of the far-off Sierra Nevada mountains.
Before long the golden palomino and her contented cowboy passenger reached a beautiful almost sensual riding rhythm… Together again.
The cowboy looked up at the crystal blue sky with its puffy cotton clouds and gave a heartfelt, indebted tip of a gloved finger off the broad brim of his sad, sweat stained Stetson hat.
“Thank you Lord,” he whispered as a singular tear wandered down his ruddy cheek.