The cowboy came riding over the hills, his shirts sleeves whipping in the wind, one hand clapped to his head, holding tight to his hat, the other grasping the reins with comfort and ease, urging his mount forward. The sun beat down on them, but they took no notice. They only had a mind for the blood pumping in their veins, the wind flowing over their skin and through their hair, and the green mountain grassing, lolling in the breeze. He reined in his mount, his best friend, his partner, and they stood at the overhang of a cliff, heaving with the adrenaline of a mountaintop race.

He reached down and gave the bay horse a rub across the neck. Both were hot and sweaty, dripping under the gaze of the sun, but they were accustom to this life of work and play. They stared out over the rocky valley before them, the one they both called home, breathing in the smells of horse, sweet grass, and smoke on the wind. The cowboy let out a whistle and from behind came a tired, but happy dog, laying down to seek refuge in the cool of the grass. "Let's go home." he said.

He turned around, away from the cliffs and began the journey home. A mile from the tops of the mountains the cowboy had picked up the last members of his herd, the beginning of many journeys to follow. The descent was rocky and rough, but nothing that the small herd of wild horses couldn't handle. They were the rocks and the grass and the wind. They were the wild.

The way home was long and made even more so because of the time that horse, rider, and dog, had spent away from the comforts of home. The horses, though wild, went easily down the mountain, urged by the dog, and calmed by the presence of another horse, one who seemed to be braver than all. The horses that trotted and ran before him were the prizes of the range. They were beautiful and strong, hard working and willing. They had a spirit, even when broke, that could not be mimicked by any other breed of horse. They were the mustang, the most loyal and quick of all breeds, the ones valued the least, but loved the most. They were a legend and a story all in themselves.
His house was modest and simple, the home of a mountain bachelor, of a cowboy with no ties except to the land and his horses. It was built of wood that had grayed by the sun, and in some places was rotting away, but it was home nonetheless. It was ideal for a man who lived by himself, a simple one roomed home, with plenty of land for his herds. The land that lay beyond the house and even beyond the river was all his. His herds ran free there, free and away from greedy eyes.

Waiting for him was an open gate and easily he and the horse and the dog pushed the horses into the corral. They were hungry and thirsty, but too scared to investigate their new home for any signs of the nourishment their bodies needed. Instead they huddled together theirs moving back and forth, listening for any signs of more danger.

The cowboy sighed happily at the job well done, and dismounted his horse. That horse, like the others was wild, although he had learned to trust and respect the human that had rescued and cared for him when he was injured. The cowboy removed the saddle and pad from the sweaty horse's back and stored them away in his small barn. He set the gelding free, letting him roam around as he wished, knowing fully that his horse would never leave his friends, and most importantly he would never leave his home.


A/N: Just wrote this abotu a week ago. I got sudden inspiration. I was thinking of writing a collection of short stories about cowboys and the things that mean the most to them. Let me know your thoughts!!!