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Excerpt From Boleta.Hawk's Story

Excerpt From Boleta.Hawk's Story

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Published by ahagy

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: ahagy on Jul 24, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 Excerpt from
 , a novel  Alyson Hagy
He pulled over to water the filly before they rolled through the town of Thermopolis. He filled a bucket from his travel tank, and he unlatched the side door of the trailer, and he got into the trailer with her. The temperature had droppedconsiderably. The sky now looked like a cold gray field that had been plowed by araging giant. The filly was agitated by the stop. She wanted to be out of the trailer. Buthe couldn¶t do that. He held up the bucket. She wouldn¶t drink, not at first. So he beganto tell her a story.He told her an easy story²the one about Hawk. Hawk was his big-bonedAppaloosa gelding. Hawk was one of the important horses in his life that had not died or  been sold off. The filly would like Hawk. He was sure about that, and that was what hetold her. Hawk was waiting for her at his parents¶ ranch.I found him at the Kaycee rodeo, he said. I was taken in by the leopard spots onhis big Appaloosa ass. Wait until you see those spots. There¶s no way in the world youcan look past them.The first time he saw Hawk, he told her, he could tell something was wrong. Thegelding was lop-eared, and his blue roan coat was starting to wash out to gray, and helooked tired, somehow ill used.It didn¶t take me long to solve the puzzle, he said. Hawk belonged to two brothers I met, a pair of sawed off plugs of muscle from Casper who thought they were
 bull riders. They didn¶t care about Hawk. They didn¶t need him except to say they hadhim. They lent him to their friends who wanted to fill out the draws in calf-roping or whatever. And they were willing to swap him for a saddle and some alfalfa hay and allthe cash money I had in my pockets. I had plenty of cash. The rodeo had gone good for me. Hawk was too old anyway, that¶s what the brothers told me. He was used up. ButHawk wasn¶t that old²any fool could tell that by looking at his teeth. He just wasn¶t being fed right. And he hadn¶t been shod worth a damn. His feet were a mess.You should have seen his feet, he told the filly. They were a tragedy. And youneed to be smart about a Appaloosa in that regard. Hawk has got a little crookedness inone of his forefeet, for instance. You have to be smart.The filly had turned away from him while he talked. She had worked herself diagonally across the open part of the trailer, taking up as much room as she couldmanage. But she wasn¶t ignoring him, not entirely. After he finished talking, she brought her black nose up and extended it toward the bucket of water. He held the bucket. She exhaled onto the cold surface of the water, splashing. She brushed her muzzle against the plastic rim of the bucket, but she didn¶t drink. That was all right. Shedidn¶t need to drink.You¶ve got some attitude, he said to her. You¶ll need that with Hawk. But youwon¶t be able to fool him about nothing, so don¶t even try. That¶s the best advice I cangive to you. Follow his lead. Don¶t mess with his business.The filly had relaxed some. He was glad to see it. He emptied the water bucketonto the cheat grass along the side of the road and checked his watch. In two hours theycould be home.

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