A Horse for Billy

Billy had wanted a horse of his own since forever. Now that he was twelve years old, he felt that since no one would give him a horse then he would catch his own. He knew of two herds of wild horses over in Indian Valley. He had his own rope so how could he go wrong.

The next morning at breakfast Billy made his big announcement. “Pa, I want to ride over to Indian Valley and catch me a horse of my own. With my own horse I can do more work around the ranch.” Billy said and went on before anyone could say anything. “The old mare that of yours that I ride is old and slow, plus a man doesn’t ride a mare.” Billy stood waiting for his Pa to say something because he knew that he was real close to being out of line.

“Well, Ma, looks like our boy has grown up.” Pa said. he looked Billy over before he went on. “I guess that every man needs his own horse. Go ahead and try to catch one but remember when you come back ridding the mare then she is yours to ride all the time. Bill, you were born and raised in this country so I know that you can take of yourself for a couple of days.” without another word Pa left the house heading for the barn.

It seemed like everything started happening at top speed. Within twenty minutes Ma had his food packed and Pa was back with the mare saddled and Billy was headed across country to Indian Valley.

Billy had been trying to block the wild horses behind the wall of brush that he had spent two hours dragging and placing to make a corral. Every time that he thought he had them the dern horses found a way out. The mare was tired and Billy was hot and sweaty so he climbed down and sat back against a rock in the shade.

“You trying to catch them horses or run them to death?” The voice came from the shadows behind him. Billy jumped up and spun around. There was an Indian standing leaning against a rock. The Indian was smiling so Billy settled down a little.

“I’m trying to catch my own horse.” Was what came out when Billy tried to speak.

The Indian nodded and walked over to the poorly made corral. He made a few improvements and head back to his Indian pony. With a smile he said. “Come. Every brave needs their own horse. We will catch you a good one.”

It took less than thirty minutes before there was a beautiful black horse standing in the corral. The brave looked at Billy and said. “I am Bear That Runs. You cook food and I will start the hard part of making the horse gentle.”

After they had eaten from the food that Ma had packed, they sat by the fire and listened to the sounds of the night while they talked. “I have watched your father work his ranch. He is a good man, he cares about the land. I think that you will become a good man, too.

It took two days to gentle the horse. The first time that Billy climbed on his back the horse just trotted around the corral. The horse was his for real now.

Bear That Runs had left the camp sometime during the night. When Billy woke up the next morning he saw the beaded deer skin vest that lay across his saddle.

Billy felt older and wiser as he topped the rise and look down into the ranch yard. He could see his father standing at the barn shading his eyes from the sun. Billy knew that Pa could see that he was leading the mare and knew that Billy had a horse of his own. Over the evening meal Billy told his parents about the Indian and catching and breaking his horse.