The Rocking Horse Kid
The setting sun was purple shadowing the sagebrush when the Rocking Horse Kid moseyed on into the town of Moist Gusset to go a courting his sweetheart, Miss Fanny Dimples.
He rode a white appaloosa with black spots painted on its hindquarters, like polka dots on a neckerchief, he called Joiner. Joiner Dots.
Twin leather holsters held a pair of pearl handled revolvers. Not that he'd ever shot anyone. He didn't need to. When the bad guys heard he was in town, they skedaddled for the hills as fast as their skes could daddle.
A white stetson hat kept the sun out of his eyes.
His cowboy boots had pointed, silver tipped toes.
He wore a pair of fringed chaps for fringing the high chaparral.
And spurs that jingle-jangle-jingled.
Miss Fanny Dimples lived in a two room tar-paper shack behind the respectable tearoom where she helped her widowed mother. When he jingle-jangled through the tearoom's door, Miss Fanny looked out the window with its blue gingham curtains.
Where's your horse? She asked him.
The hitching post was already taken, he told her.
Moist Gusset was a one horse town.
The Kid's full name was G. Russell Horne. Miss Fanny had soon shortened it to Rusty. Rusty Horne and Fanny Dimples were often seen parading, arm in arm, down Main Street. Moist Gusset's only street. Fanny twirling a yellow parasol all the way from Paris, Paris Texas. And Rusty trying not to trip over his spurs.
On Sundays after church, Rusty would hire a surrey from the stables to take Miss Fanny picnicking by the river. And if he played his cards right, she might even allow him the familiarity of dunking his jam fancy in her pot of cream.
Everything was satisfactual. Little bluebirds were doo-dahing their zippeties. Miss Fanny was the belle of Moist Gusset's annual harvest barn dance and Baptist Ladies Mud Wrestling contest, taking home the winner's blue ribbon.
Down in the barnyard
Swinging on a gate
Take your girl
And don't be late
Chicken in a bread pan
Picking out dough
Swing your girl
With the corner maid
Meet your own
Two by two
Now walk 'em home
Like y'ought to do
Here we go
Heel and toe
Hurry up cowboy
Don't be slow
Swing 'em high
Swing 'em low
Turn 'em loose
And watch 'em go
Bow to your corners
Weave the ring
Cats can't fiddle
And dogs don't sing
Rusty was proudly promenading Miss Fanny in step and in time with the other heel kickers when a hand tapped him on the shoulder.
Pass on through, said Rusty. Nobody's handling my Fanny, but me.
Buck Ryder had been drinking. Corn-jugged to the eyeballs, he wasn't about to take no for an answer. He swung a wild haymaker at Rusty's lantern jaw.
Rusty ducked. Buck just about swung himself off his feet. His punch found the preacher's wife instead. Reverend Lamb was a peaceful man of God, but he couldn't abide to stand there and turn the other cheek. Snatching up a bottle of elderberry wine from the refreshments table, he smote Ryder a mighty blow crying, Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord!
Stumbling backwards, one of the outlaw's windmilling arms knocked the fiddle player's elbow. And while the wallflowers wilted, the young bucks yee-hawed and waded in. All hell broke loose. Tables were overturned. Chairs were thrown. A smashed lamp set the stacked bales of straw ablaze. And the fiddler struck up Bonaparte's Retreat as the barn burned down around them.
Hoisting Miss Fanny over his shoulder, Rusty done git while the gittin' was good.