Once Upon a Dude Ranch-2 by xiaoyounan


									                          Once Upon a Dude Ranch
               By The Rising Authors of North Oaks Middle School

       “Hey kids, you’re never going to believe it; I just won an all expense paid
vacation for four to a dude ranch. For a week, we get to live like cowboys. Doesn’t
that sound like fun? The only catch is we have to leave in the next two weeks.”

      Dad said, “I’m sorry, Marlene, but there is no way I can get off. I’m right in
the middle of a big project. Why don’t you let one of the kids invite someone to
take my place?”

       “Can I invite Eugene?” asked fifteen-year-old Tristan. “He’s always good
for a laugh,” he added as he sanitized his hands for the third time and slid the
container back in his pocket after checking that the lid was closed twice.

      “That’s not fair,” whined Leven, Tristan’s thirteen- year-old sister who was
the queen of complaining. “Why can’t I be the one to bring a friend?”

       “It’s a trip for four and that’s all we can take,” Mom explained. “It would be
nice to have another boy along since your dad can’t go. You never know what
might happen.”

      The next week and a half went by quickly as everyone packed all their
necessities: plenty of hand sanitizers, soap, shampoo, and conditioner.

       Eugene arrived with his shorts pulled up so high it looked like he had given
himself a wedgie. Laughing Tristan said, “I see you got some cowboy boots. Nice
look, nitwit.”

      “Yeah, I thought I’d get my cowboy on.”

       “Those boots don’t really go with your golf shirt and shorts that are pulled
up to your armpits, you know,” said Leven. “You look more like a rodeo clown
than a cowboy.” Nobody knows the pain and embarrassment I go through living
with Tristan and now I have to live with Eugene too for a week. This is going to be
pure torture, she thought.
       “No, I’m just trying to cowboy up!” returned Eugene good naturedly. That
girl just doesn’t know fashion when she sees it, thought Eugene. I hope she brought
some boots because she’s going to need them you know. She looks like a total
doofus in her skinny jeans but I’m too polite to say it.

      “You know what they say,” said Tristan. “Wearing boots doesn’t make a
person a cowboy any more than putting a boot in the oven makes it a biscuit.”

      “Hey, I’m excited about this cowboy thing. I think it’s gonna be fun,”
returned Eugene

      “Well I’m glad someone is excited,” said Mom. They loaded up and were
on their way. Before they had been driven an hour, she said she needed to stop for

      Eugene said, “Dude Tristan, did your mom just say she had gas?”

      “No,” said Tristan as he rolled his eyes and laughed.

       “Good because I do. Hope we can stop soon. Remind me not to eat three
burritos and gulp down a two-litter drink right before going on a road trip next
time,” said Eugene as he happily got out of the car.

      Tristan went in the gas station with him and while they were inside Leven
poured some syrup inside Tristan’s sanitizer bottle which was sitting in the drink
holder. She sat back and waited. Sure enough shortly after Mom was on her way,
he opened it and poured syrup all over his hands.

      “Mrs. Townsend, you need to drive like you just robbed a bank to get
somewhere so Tristan can wash his hands,” said Eugene. For about thirty minutes
Tristan, had to sit with syrup on his hands but finally they arrived at Wildcat
Ranch. Two large rustic poles held up a sign that said, “Ride like a wildcat or get
blown away.”

       When they pulled up to the main ranch house they were greeted by a man
with a reddish white beard, and a tan cowboy hat. “Welcome partners, I’m Mr.
Jim, the owner of this dude ranch. I’m glad you made it.”
     “Can you show me where I can get this sticky mess off my hands,”
demanded Tristan.

      That boy’s may not make a full week. He seems so slow I bet he can’t even
catch a cold, thought Mr. Jim. After showing Tristan a faucet he said, “I imagine
you’d like to wet your whistle after you put your gear in your bunk so come on
down to the mess hall. We’ll be serving lunch and then we have a trail ride planned
for you.”

        Inside their cabin, the accommodations were rustic and sparse. There were
two king beds made out of logs covered with a star patchwork quilt, and two
brown leather chairs. A mounted longhorn was placed in between the beds and a
little cross stitched frame was under it which said:

             May your stomach never grumble.
             May your heart never ache.
             May your horse never stumble.
             May your cinch never break.

    Out front was a hitching post that looked like it was right out of an old west
movie. Not far away was the mess hall. The four walked in and they looked like
the entertainment from Comedy Central as Eugene tugged on his elastic waistband
shorts and tried to walk without wobbling in his new cowboy boots. Tristan had
put on plastic lunch-lady gloves to protect himself from any germs. Leven looked
like her purple skinny jeans had been painted on and Marlene was wearing a
Hawaiian shirt with orange biker shorts.

   “You need to try one of our cowboy bender sandwiches,” said Mr. Jim.

   “What’s that?” asked Mom.

   “It’s a grilled sausage cut in half, put on a bun and bent over. It’s so tasty it’ll
burn the soles off your cowboy boots. Or might I say, your flip flops.”

   “Good times,” said Eugene as he filled his plate the cowboy sandwich, ranch
beans and potato salad. Everything tasted finger-licking good and in no time it was
time to cowboy up and go on the group’s first horse ride.

   “Clay is going to be your guide for the day,” announced Mr. Jim. “He’ll take
you to get acquainted with your horses and teach you a little about horse etiquette.
You’ll keep the same horse all week and he’s going to give y’all some riding

   Embarrassed and feeling tense, Leven was worried if she would be able get on
with her tight jeans. Clay had to push her rear end to get her up. “I hope I won’t get
too dirty,” she moaned as she heard her jeans rip in the back. She tried to hold her
breath because she was feeling very uncomfortable after her big lunch.

   “Oh don’t worry. You will get dirty for sure, but a little dirt never hurt anybody.
You’re on Little Bit. She’s a gentle horse. You’re going to love it, pretty lady,”
said Clay as he smiled. “Riding a horse is like being given angel wings. You came
here a tenderfoot but you’re gonna to leave a real cowgirl.”

       Leven couldn’t help but blush and she decided this cowboy thing might not
be so bad after all as she looked into Clay’s sky blue eyes and saw his cute lop-
sided smile. She almost forgot about the rip until Tristan pointed it out for
everyone to see.

      Next Clay looked at Eugene and said, “Is this your brother?”

       “No, he’s my brother’s dorky friend. My brother is the one with the hand
sanitizer and plastic gloves on. Sorry, you know you don’t get to choose your
family,” she added apologetically.

   “I’m going to give you Gertrude to ride. You two look like you belong together.
I know you’re going to need help getting on. Remember when you fall off just get
back up; that is unless you fall in cactus, in which case, just scream and I’ll come
get you,” said Clay. “Here’s some good advice, Eugene. Don’t squat with your
spurs on.”

   “What did you say?” asked Eugene as he fell off his horse and dusted his seat

   “Oh nothing, I was just messing with you. Try again. I’ll give you a hand
getting back on. Remember to hold on to your saddle horn instead of adjusting
your glasses.”

   Finally Eugene was on feeling all proud that he was the only one in his group
with boots on.
  “Surely you’re not going to wear plastic gloves while you ride?” asked Clay
when he saw Tristan who was also wearing shorts and a floral shirt.

   “Actually I had planned to,” responded Tristan. “I have a thing about being
clean,” he said as his right eye began twitching and he felt the urge to scratch all

   “If you’re worried about a little dirt, you might have chosen the wrong place to
vacation because horses and dirt go together like pork and beans. You’ll like our
horses. They change people’s lives and build self esteem. You’ll find people come
and go but horses leave hoof prints of your heart,” said Clay.

    Next Mom got on without too much trouble and the foursome was off on the
first horse ride.

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