Buck Johnson: Dragon Roundup

Wyatt McLaren

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2012 Wyatt Mclaren

This is a work of fiction. The characters and situations are nothing more than inventions of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance of anything in here to real persons, places, or institutions on Earth is purely coincidental.

Buck Johnson: Dragon Roundup

Korths—which approximately resemble a three-toed cross between an ox and a horse—are anything but quick and agile. They are, however, strong, possessing amazing pulling power, and fast on a straightaway—attributes that come in pretty handy for catching and roping dragons. Still, they aren't the best sort of mount for steep, rough terrain. And that’s why Buck Johnson was now sitting on a smallish boulder, nursing a skinned elbow and a sore shoulder, and cursing his current lot.

Buck had been attempting to maneuver his barely-past-green-broke korth down the side of a steep draw, having a spotted a likely looking dragon at the draw's head. This young korth he'd cut out and saddled that morning had been showing a lot of promise. He was a quick learner, didn't shy from the rope, and seemed to have stamina. Buck really liked his looks, too. So Buck had decided to get two jobs done at once—putting some miles and training on the korth and maybe roping and bringing back to camp a dragon or two. But things had gone slightly awry.

As Buck was coaxing the korth over the edge of the draw, the animal decided to come untrained. Having just clambered over the lip of the draw, the korth sat back on his haunches. Buck spurred him to get him moving on down the steep incline, and the korth lunged forward, kicked a time or two, and then commenced pitching in earnest, trying to unseat Buck and get back to the level ground he preferred. But Buck got his feet forward, squeezed with his knees, and managed, just barely, to keep his seat. He also began a series of loud and salty exhortations: “Whoa! Whoa, you ignernt bastard! Whoa dammit!” and so forth—which had little effect on the kicking and squealing animal.

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