The Happiest Man in the Territory by Nancy Radke

“Goodbye, Sir Galahad,” I said. “You’ve been a good bull.” I walked back the way I came, tears misting my eyes. I didn’t want to watch him walk away. “Miss! Hey! Miss Porter.” I turned. Galahad was following me. He had yanked the lead right out of Mr. Trahern’s hand. “No. You must go with him,” I said. I picked up his lead and took him back. “I’m sorry. He doesn’t understand. Just tell me where you want him and I’ll lead him there.” The cowhand looked at me with a smile. “I want him on my ranch.” “Fine. I’ll take him there. Where is it?” “Down that road.” He pointed to a dirt road that stretched around the edge of town. I started walking. Galahad walked behind me, content to follow. The cowboy rode alongside of me for a ways, singing a song I’d never heard before, something about cowboys and little doggies. There sure were a lot of verses. I walked about two miles and stopped. There wasn’t a house in sight in front of us, although the road continued off to the horizon. Up the hills, headed toward the mountains. “Just where is your ranch, Mr. Trahern?” He pointed up the road. “I don’t see it.” “It’s there all right. About twenty more miles.” “Twenty?” Two sounded too far. “Were you planning on letting me walk the whole distance?” “No, Ma’am. I thought you’d figure it out before you got there.” “And then what?” “You can ride up behind me here, and hang onto that chain. We’ll go a little faster that way, although I can already see that Sir Galahad chooses his own speed.”

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