I won 2nd place in the Wyoming Writers Inc. 2012 Literature for Children category for this little story. I hope you enjoy it.

Ride to South Pasture


I am the youngest daughter in a cowboy family. We are cattle ranchers in Wyoming. Ranching requires lots of different skills like roping, horseback riding, and herding. Everyone in the family has a skill they do ‘specially well.


Mom is an expert roper. For practice she ropes tumbleweeds in windstorms.


Dad is an expert trailer. Singing sweet and low he can move a hundred cows to the pasture without a single argument.


Youngest brother is an expert horseman.   I’ve looked for Velcro on his pants because there isn’t a horse alive that can buck him off.


Oldest brother is an expert motorcyclist. You may not know that cowboys ride motorcycles, but they do. He rides so fast through the sagebrush that all you can see are dust clouds.


You’re probably wondering what a little kid like me can be an expert at. I’m expert at feeding the bum calves. I talk to them and pet their soft heads while they suck the bottle. Dad says my words help them grow strong as much as the milk.


Even Amos, our ranch dog is an expert… at barking. He once barked the rattles off a rattlesnake.


Last summer the wind didn’t blow for two days, and Dad worried the cattle might not have any water. “Oldest son,” I don’t think Dad can remember our names, “Would you ride out and check the windmill in the south pasture.” “Sure.”


As oldest brother went to the barn to get his motorcycle, youngest brother said, “Can I come too?” “Sure.” I was bored with practicing my roping, so I said, “Can I come?” “Sure.”


When we got to the barn, oldest brother said, “I’m driving,” sat down and grabbed the handlebars. Youngest brother climbed on the back.


“Where am I going to ride,” I squealed. “On the handlebars, silly girl.”


Heading out the gate, Amos ran up beside us and started barking. “Do you want to go for a ride?” He rode on older brother’s lap and announced our coming.


The four of us rode through sagebrush, rabbit brush, and grass over hills and through ravines to the south pasture.


The blades on the windmill were turning real slow, but it was enough to send a trickle of water into the tank. Youngest brother said, “Last one in is a plowboy!” I guess oldest brother will be a farmer someday. After our swim, we climbed back on the motorcycle with our wet clothes on. Older brother drove slowly so we wouldn’t look like mud balls when we got to the house.


We parked the motorcycle in the barn and headed to the house to change our clothes. Mom and Dad were snapping beans on the porch. “Looks like there’s water in the south pasture,” Dad said. “Sure is,” was all oldest brother said.