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"Hey, wait up Rick, where you goin'?" shouted Mac, as he spied Rick disappearing behind the barn.
"I'm goin to the old shack to find arrow heads."
"You can't go over there." Mac gasped, catching up to Rick. "You heard the owner tell daddy to keep us off his property. He's as mean as that old bull he keeps in there. Daddy told him we wouldn't go in there anymore, you know how he is about his word. We'll get it good, if we're caught."
"Yeah I know, but was only because of the bull. They think we'll get hurt but shootfire, that bull is so old it can't even run, anyway it's fenced up. You wanna come with me?"
"Well, I guess." Mac frowned, not sure if Rick's arguments were true, but wanting to go, he agreed.
The skinny preteen sandy haired boys scurried across the yard kicking the hard dirt clods, trying to outdo each other in the distance they could make them fly. They climbed through the barbed wire fence, trying not to catch their shirts on a barb. As they walked the well-worn path through the dried brittle weeds that covered the field, they searched for the bull, finding it in the far corner of the pasture. The shack stood in the middle of the unused field, in the shade of several large oak trees, just outside of a second fence containing the bull.
Rick lost no time beginning another search for arrow heads, although he had never found anything but broken bottles. Indians had lived in the area years before, and as most ten-year-olds, his faith and his hope remained strong. "Someday," he thought, "I'll find one."
Mac was looking around, as he too had a keen interest in finding pieces of history. They were both engrossed in their labor, and time passed quickly. As they picked up a bottle or broken dish, they imagined living here a hundred years ago. The worm holes in the shack were gun shot holes from pioneer days. They had very imaginative minds.
Rick wandered down to the river bank to search among the very old oak trees.
Mac glanced across the fence, seeing something sticking up from the ground. He scrambled under the wires and headed for it. "Shoot, it's nothin, just a soda pop bottle." Hurling the bottle as far as possible, he trampled the weeds down so he could see the ground underneath, and continued to search.
Rick, unable to find an arrowhead among the trees, and thinking it was time to go home, walked around the shack looking for Mac. He saw him down on his knees digging for something with a stick. He then saw something moving out of the corner of his eye and looked toward it.
"Mac! The bull! Get out of there! "
Mac's heart stopped, then begin beating hard. He quickly stood and stared toward the bull who had begun to run in his direction. Mesmerized, he was unable to move.
"Mac, come on, what ya standing there for?" Rick jumped the fence to hurry Mac along, keeping one eye on the fast approaching bull. Grabbing Mac's arm to get him moving, he shoved him in the direction of the fence. "Move!"
Mac moved, stumbling a little on the uneven cloddy field. "Come on, Rick!" He continued to run as Rick ran at an angle between him and the fence, trying to get the bulls attention by frantically waving his red bandana. The bull stopped in his tracks and looked at one boy and then the other, confused in which way to go. Hearing the thunderous bellowing of the bull caused Mac to risk a precious second in glimpsing back. The bull was tossing his head back and forth while seeming to do a little dance. Mac reached the fence and leaped, one hand grabbed the top of the post in the same instant as his foot reached the top wire and he flew over in one gliding motion. He ran another fifty yards before stopping behind a cottonwood tree, ready to climb if the need arose. "Rick! Come on!" He screamed.
Rick watched in awe as Mac safely jumped the fence, then turned again toward the bull. The mean-eyed animal watched Mac, who was still running, then turned his full attention to Rick. When Rick saw the animal began to scrape his hoof against the ground, he stuffed the bandana in his back pocket and his feet began to run, neither waiting for nor needing instructions. His heart tried its best to become unhindered of the chest wall. Rick tried to jump the fence smoothly, like Mac did, but when his foot landed on the wire it slipped off and he fell flat on his back in a cloud of dust. Since he was down, all he had to do was roll under, leaving part of his shirt on a barb and all the time feeling the bulls sharp horns aiming for that red bandana.
Rick scrambled around the corner of the shack to be out of sight of the bull, who was still bellowing his rage at being denied the prize of the chase. Sitting on the ground with his back against the wall, he began to laugh. He laughed and he couldn't stop, though his side began to ache. He didn't know he was laughing from relief, and neither did Mac.
"Hey, it's not funny. The old bull almost gored me." Mac hurried over to join his brother behind the shack.
"You looked so funny. Your eyes were popping out and your mouth was wide open screaming like a girl. You were running so scaredy your knees were almost hitting your chin. All I could see as you passed me, were elbows and knees. Zoom, there went Mac!"
"I wasn't either! And you were just as scared as I was. Why were you waving at it? That was stupid. You couldn't even jump the fence you were so scared. And I did not scream, I didn't say anything. We better get out of here before the owner catches us, you won't be laughing then."
"Yeah, I know." Rick agreed as he slowly got to his feet. "Hey, how did you jump the fence so good? Its taller than you are. We have to tell daddy we were here, you know that don't you?" Seeing the reluctant nod, he went on, "Yeah, come on then."
They walked back along the path as the red sun was sinking behind the distant hills. Rick was still laughing, Mac was still arguing, neither noticing the owner's old beat up, multicolored pickup truck coming up behind them across the field.