Circa 1998

The Fight at Snakewater Gulch

Under the blue western sky, where the mountains meet the prairie, lies the old dusty town of Snakewater Gulch. Excitement there gets stirred up easily. Everyone had come to see the fight between Billy Bob and Ravenous Bull. The fight started with Miss Melody.

“She’s my girl!” Ravenous Bull hollered.

“Well, I’m afraid you’re downright wrong,” stated Billy Bob matter-o-factly.

“I think we’ll take it to the streets,” Ravenous Bull said smugly.

“I believe we will!” replied Billy Bob.

“Billy Bob, no!” Miss Melody said.

“I’m afraid I’ll have to go,” said Billy Bob.

The two rustlers scuffled out to the streets, the hot sun scorching their sweaty backs. The air was muggy and tense. Folks lined the streets, a hushed silence fallen over them, except for Ravenous Bull’s scruffy gang who called to their leader in worried tones “Watch out! He’s a tricky one!”

Sherrif Barlington began the count: 1…2…3…4…5…6…7…8…9…10! Billy Bob and Ravenous Bull quickly turned and Ravenous Bull fired. Billy Bob’s quick reflexes were a help and he swiftly dropped to the ground.

Before Ravenous Bull could fire a second time, Billy Bob called to his horse, One-Eyed Buck-Eyed Pete. The great mustang came galloping faster than lightnin’ and made the earth tremble so that Ravenous Bull missed his shot. The horse’s powerful hooves kicked up a tornado which carried away Ravenous Bull and his gang.

Before the tornado could drift away, Billy Bob yelled “Don’t come here again lookin’ for trouble you old Belly Bloater!”, and with that the tornado drifted away. Billy Bob snatched up Miss Melody and rode into the sunset with Miss Melody sighing contentedly. No one ever saw Ravenous Bull or his gang again, but it’s said that during a tornado or strong wind you can hear their wails and howls.


The End. A fifth grade homework assignment, all grammar and spelling preserved as graded, and clearly inspired by the book of American folktales and legends gifted to me only the Christmas before. You can absolutely tell that Pecos Bill was my favorite, though I suspect there’s a piece of Silverado in there too.

“All I did was kiss the girl.”

“That’s what you said in Turley. Remember how that ended?”

“What’s the matter, Paden? You afraid I couldn’t get those two behind me?”


Today’s homework assignment, circa 2019: research into historical emigration patterns into Montana and a cursory look into Rocky Boy folklore. And technically only 148 words added to Pine&Meyer, though those 148 words took forty-five minutes. This entire chapter is going to be a fight.

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2 Responses to Circa 1998

  1. Your Local Friendly IT Guy says:

    At this point, I’m just waiting for you to pull a “Lost” and start introducing new rooms all willy-nilly.

    As to the first story, nothing like a good ol’ American folktale to get you going in the mornin’.

    • A.L. Schultz says:

      That is an excellent idea. “And then it turned out there was a sauna in the back of the house the whole time, with a bunch of Finns stuffed into it like the inside of a clown car.”

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