WORDS TO USE: paperclip – yogurt – buffalo – tie – skinny
PROMPT TO USE: Write about accepting a dare.
Bert the buffalo snickered in amusement as he watched from a short distance away from the campground of the ranch hands from the Lazy Z. They were herding cattle down from the hills and herding a dozen greenhorns playing at being a cowboy.
It wasn’t even dawn and already chaos reigned supreme. His friend Skinny Alfred the cantankerous longhorn was at his troublemaking best. He’d discovered everyone in the camp sleeping, except the trail guard. And the guard wandered off to take care of some personal business. A serious mistake on his part, leaving the opportunity for Alfred to amble into camp. He took the shirking of duties as his chance to accept a personal dare.
His first ornery task had been to knock over the rope line, holding the reins of all the horses tied there. Thrilled at the unexpected freedom, the mounts were now racing through the cattle herd rounded up yesterday. The pounding hooves of both horses and cattle had awakened the stunned, half-asleep greenhorns and the thoroughly annoyed hands scrambling to catch the horses. The amount of colorful swearing would burn most people’s ears.
Bert snickered again. With all the cowboys running around like wild men, Alfred went on to more playful work in the campground. He tromped through the main campfire, sending logs and whatnot flying all over the place.
He strolled toward the cook’s old-fashioned covered wagon and lowered his head. Using his enormous horns, he knocked the wagon off-kilter. Pots and pans and lots of other stuff clanged around making all kinds of noise.
It drew more attention from the confused tenderfoots, keeping their distance from the “crazed” longhorn. One of the surprised greenhorns had come out of his tent, holding a small container, and spooning out a glob of something whitish before dropping it all at his feet. Yogurt, Bert believed. He’d seen people eating it before, although he had no idea why. Sometimes they scrunched up their faces when they ate it.
Anyway, good old Alfred sure could create havoc.
Bert decided it was his turn to have a bit of fun. He ambled toward Cowboy Tom’s, the supposed “man in charge’s,” abandoned tent. Bending down, he eased inside, smashing into a cot and turning it onto its side. He nosed around until he spotted a crate holding some curious objects. Some kind of notes paperclipped together. A small phone thing he’d seen some of the men using occasionally. Other boring stuff.
He backed out of the tent and found a couple of cowboys heading his way. They didn’t look happy. It appeared Alfred had disappeared, and these fellows seemed to think he’d caused this mess. He shot them a glare that slowed them down long enough for him to make his escape. They didn’t come after him. Even if he was sort of the “ranch pet,” few men would take on a buffalo scowling at them.