written by Debbie Williamson
Back about 75 years ago in a little town called Little Horn, Texas, lived a cowboy. His name was White Lightning. White Lightning was a rough and tough character. He rustled cattle and a team of horses better than anyone else around. However, none of the horses and cattle belonged to him. He did not own his own ranch. He was a ranch hand, working on several different ranches in the district.
White Lightning was only 18 years old. White Lightning worked very hard and had some money saved up. He wanted to buy his own ranch. He was out one day and found a beautiful piece of land, just what he wanted. It had 1,500 acres of good ranching soil, a wide stream, an old worn down cabin and a few out-buildings that had fallen down. White Lightning would have a lot of work to do.
It didn’t take much convincing for White Lightning to buy the ranch. He started to work immediately. Once he had repaired the buildings, he wanted to buy some livestock.
“A few head of cattle and one good horse will be just what I need to get started,” White Lightning said to himself.
That next week he bought a few head of cattle. He also bought a good horse, a stallion, named Blackie. Blackie turned out to be a very wild and mean-tempered horse. White Lightning had problems with him right from the very beginning. The very first incident that occurred was when Blackie knocked the fence down, with one kick of his hind legs.
“You keep that up and I will trade you in,” White Lightning scolded.
Blackie didn’t listen.
“I don’t understand this,” said White Lightning one afternoon after Blackie had kicked him in the shins. “I’m usually good with horses. I’ve broken a lot of them, some, much wilder than Blackie. I must be losing my touch.”
Finally, White Lightning could handle it no more. Blackie had to go.
“I’ll take you to the livestock barns tomorrow,” said White Lightning sadly. “I can’t handle you any more. You’re going to kill someone one of these days!”
The next morning, White Lightning went down to the stable. Blackie wasn’t there. He had kicked down the barn door! White Lightning spent the rest of that day looking for Blackie. Finally, as it turned dark, he found him down by the stream. White Lightning grabbed onto his reins and walked Blackie all the way into Little Horn in the pitch blackness of the night. Somehow, something in Blackie had changed. He didn’t put up a fight. He walked along beside White Lightning, gracefully.
“Well Blackie,” said White Lightning. “I’m glad to see that you’ve settled down.”
White Lightning reached Little Horn as the sun was coming up. He met a couple of farmers on their way to the sales barn.
“Very enjoyable morning,” said one of the farmers.
“Yes, it is,” said White Lightning.
“Very handsome horse,” said the other farmer.
“He sure is,” said White Lightning, proudly.
“Is he for sale?” asked the first farmer.
“Not now,” said White Lightning.
“Where is it that you come from young lad?” asked the second farmer.
“Over yonder on the old Jackson ranch,” said White Lightning.
“Ah,” said the first farmer. “I hear that they finally got rid of the big grizzly bear that was roaming around near you. I bet that you’re relieved.”
“I sure am,” said White Lightning.
White Lightning didn’t let on to the two farmers that he didn’t know anything about the bear. However, a thought just struck him.
“I just bet that it was that old grizzly who was making you so miserable,” said White Lightning, once the two farmers had gone on their way. “Come on, Blackie, we are going home!”