The County of Wellington Library has announced the winners and runners-up of the second annual Olive and Fred Robins Junior Short Story Contest.
Joey Martin is one of two 2019 runners-up.
The Rustlers Attack
By Joey Martin
Hank Robertson slowly rode his horse down the steep incline where his cows were grazing. Scanning the horizon, his keen eyes picked out a lone coyote creeping along the south side of the ravine. Before Hank knew what was happening, the coyote had separated two young cattle from the herd. He took careful aim with his rifle. A minute later the coyote was lying dead with blood oozing from his head.
Once Hank saw he was successful, he wheeled his horse around to round up the straying cattle. With speed and agility his horse sped toward the fleeing cattle. In minutes he had the cows rounded up. Later in the evening, as it was growing dusk, Hank herded his cows toward the barn. When the cows were all safely in the barn, Hank headed to the house for a hearty supper from his cook. After supper he headed to bed with a full stomach.
The next morning Hank began his daily routine at five o’clock, as usual. He went out to the barn to feed his two hundred cattle. Suddenly it clicked, bear season started tomorrow! He quickly rode to his neighbour’s place and asked him if he could take care of his cows until he got back from getting bear tags. When Hank got back he got news from his neighbour that he had been raided by rustlers! They had stolen twenty cows. They were his best cattle so he got his horse ready to chase them. After Hank hopped on his horse, it started bucking like a bucking bronco. This was unusual as this was his best horse. After he got bucked off he managed to catch his horse and take off its saddle. Then Hank found that the rustlers had stuck a burr under his saddle. So he took the burr out, put the saddle on the horse again and called his bloodhound to trail the rustlers. Hank knew the rustlers couldn’t go fast so they couldn’t have gone far either.
After a couple of hours he found where the rustlers had made a fire. By watching the bloodhound, Hank could tell they were getting closer. A bit later he saw some cattle in the distance. Hank’s bloodhound bristled. Hank tethered his hound and horse to a nearby tree. He snuck around until he was close enough to hear what they were saying. Hank heard them say that they should get on their way. Hank suddenly had an amazing plan. He snuck over to some nearby burrs. He picked two burrs, one for each saddle. When he had them in the saddles, Hank shouted. The rustlers jumped on their horses but their horses bucked them off. Hank quickly called the sheriff and his deputies, meanwhile the rustlers were still trying to catch their horses. A few minutes later the sheriff came and arrested the rustlers and Hank got his cows back.
The next morning he took his rifle to go bear hunting. After a few hours sitting in a clearing, a huge bear came into sight. Hank raised his rifle and shot. It clipped the bear’s ear off. This enraged him so he started to run at Hank. He fired another shot and the bear fell over. A few nights later Hank sat on his new bearskin rug and ate bear stew.