By Waddie Greywolf

Chapter 4

Waco hugged Ox to him in front of all the people gathered and spoke to him.

“I’m so proud of you, Lummy.  You were a true hero."

<< I hardly did anything, Master Waco.  You took complete charge of the situation.  I couldn’t have done it without your quick thinking.  You knew exactly what needed to be done and dispatched me immediately.  You knew what you had to do to get the strength you needed from your brothers.  I didn’t think of that.  It was all your doing. >>

“What do you mean it was my doing?  I didn’t send you.  You just reacted.”

“Meaning no disrespect, Master Waco, but you sent him.”  Travis said meekly.

“Travis is right, big brother.  We done hear’d ju.’” JR backed him up.

Charlie came running up to the boys.  Waco was holding on to his butt-naked giant with both arms as far around him as he could reach.

“You men all right?  Everyone okay?  I watched from the porch with a bowlful of potato salad in my hands.   It all happened so fast.”  Charlie Goodnight asked.

“We’re okay, Master Goodnight.”  volunteered Travis.  “Ox and Waco were heroes.”

“I’m a’ think’n you got more’n a couple of heroes here today.”  Interjected Ranger Gibbons,  “I watched Waco bark some instructions and the three of them boys joined hands to do some’um,— it looked like they’s pray’n,— but I gotta’ agree with Travis and JR, Charlie, I done watched Waco undo Ox’s breach so’s he wouldn’t be encumbered and slapped him on his ass to be on his way to help the boy.  I think what we witnessed here today was a little more’n heroism,— I think we done watched us a gin-u-wine miracle.” allowed the big man.   

“Daddy!  Put me down!  I’m all right, Daddy!  Please,— put me down!”  the little five year old, Donny Lassiter, was squirming and begging his dad, the sheriff.  “I have to go to Waco.  I have to thank him.  Waco, JR, Travis and the big giant saved my life.  I was so afraid I couldn’t do nothing.  Waco, he done told me what to do, Dad.  No,— it was more like he got into my head and made my body do what he wanted it to do.  It was like I was jes’ watching what Waco was making me do.  I’s like one a’ them puppets they control with them strings.  JR and Travis give Waco the added strength he needed to help me.  Thank God, they was here, Dad.  If’n it weren’t for them and Ox, I wouldn’t be alive right now.”    

The sheriff put the boy down, and Donny ran full force to Waco’s arms.  Waco caught him up in a hug and stole a kiss.

“Thank you, Waco.  Thank you JR and Travis for saving my life.  Thank you, Mr. Ox, for being my hero and coming to my rescue.  All you men is heroes.  It took quick think’n and a lot of courage to do what ch’all done for me.  I’ll never forgit this day as long as I live.  I’ll forever be in your debt.”

Bobby Jessup and his wife walked up and heard the boy’s words.  Bobby put his arms around his boy and hugged him to him in a gesture of deepest love.  No words needed to be spoken what was in his or Elsie’s heart.  It was a sign to them, they made the right decision for their boy.  They couldn’t be prouder of Travis than to hear he was a hero, too.

“All Mrs. Lassiter and me kin say, gentlemen, is the four of you and Mr. Goodnight are welcome to sit down at our supper table anytime you can get away and come visit our ranch.  Our door is always open to you.  You’re always welcome.  You don’t never have to call, jes’ come on over.  We owe you men more’n we can ever repay you.”  said the sheriff with tears in his eyes as he shook Waco’s hand and then the boys.  He even shook Ox’s big paw one more time.

Charlie was stunned, but then so was everyone there.  What started out to be a nice country get-together birthday party for a young man who was coming of age turned into one of the most memorable days anyone in the community could remember.  The rest of the day was like a dream for Waco the boys and their lummox.

Ida Wallace and Hank Morgan were thrilled with their boy.  JR just gave his mother the, “Aw, shuck, ma, I didn’t do nothing.” routine but when big Hank took the boy in his arms and hugged him, JR knew he’d done a good thing.  Even though he knew Hank was a slave, JR respected and admired Hank.  He didn’t know exactly why, but JR never had to defend himself to anyone at the ranch for his admiration for the big cowboy.

To be polite and garner good relations with the slave dealer Charlie suggested to Waco he invite Mr. Tennent to his birthday party.  He arrived with his family and another slave chained to the back of his pickup just as the incident with the Thunderbird started.  He stood and witnessed the whole thing.  He shook his head in disbelief at the wild man he sold Charlie Goodnight for such an exorbitant price the day before was a remarkably intelligent and graceful creature.  Boy, had he made a ‘giant’ mistake, he thought to himself.  He chuckled to himself at his own bad pun.

He felt so bad about letting Mr. Goodnight and his boy purchase such a worthless slave he brought along another young boy as an additional birthday present for Waco, who in his slave trader opinion, was almost as worthless as the lummox.  He thought the gesture would make up for a little of his guilty conscience; however, after what he just witnessed, he wasn’t real sure he made the right decision.  It was too late now.  He knew his wife would never let him renege on his gift.  How would he explain the incorrigible young American Indian slave he had chained up in the back of his pickup?

One of the kids brought Ox’s leather breachcloth and handed it to Waco.  He smiled and thanked the boy.  The sheriff’s wife saw the look in the giant’s eyes, took it from Waco, carefully folded it and handed it back to him.

“Put it away, Son.”  she spoke softly to Waco.  “I say your slave don’t have to wear it no more today.  He looks much more comfortable without it.  Everyone here is farm or ranch folks.   They’re used to seeing all kinds of animals without any coverings,— right, Don?”  Mrs. Lassiter deferred to her husband for his support.

“Absolutely, dear!  It’s much too hot a day for a big fine slave like Ox to have to wear that damn thing around all day.  Put it up for when he comes to supper with you boys.”  Don Lassiter spoke as if his word was law,— and it was.  Don smiled and winked at Ox, and he smiled back at the sheriff.

Mr. Tennent, the slave dealer, joined the crowd and was listening to all the talk about Waco and his slave.

“You wanna’ sell yore’ giant slave back to me for a goodly profit, young man?”  he asked Waco in a joking manner.

“Naw, Sir, Mr. Tennent.  I think Ox is here to stay.  He’s gone from being a lummox to me and several other folk’s personal hero, but welcome to my birthday party, Sir.  So glad you and yore’ family could make it.”

“Thank you, Son.  I felt so bad after selling you and yore’ dad an unproven slave I done brought chu’ another just yore’ age to make up for the lummox.  After seeing how you work with slaves, don’t look to me like you’s having too much of a problem with the giant.  C’mon, Son, yore’ birthday present’s in the back of my pickup.”

Charlie and Ranger was slapping each other on the back and having a good time with Waco’s sudden windfall of new slaves.  Now he had three slaves of his own.  There were families and ranchers in the area who couldn’t claim three slaves of their own.  Waco and the men followed Mr. Tennent to his truck.  On the way, Waco greeted several more new arrivals, Mrs. Tennent and their young son.  The older Tennent boy was almost a grown man.  He was about eighteen and was standing by the back of the Tennent’s pickup truck waiting for his dad.

Waco could see the young boy in the back was an American Indian.  His body was smooth and his head was shaved.  He was completely naked and wasn’t wearing any kind of shoes or boots.  His eyes got really big when he saw Ox following Waco up to the truck.  His whole demeanor seemed to change from one of anger and defiance to awe and almost reverence at the sight of the giant.

“Na-tonk-ka-wee-ka.”  He muttered to himself just loud enough for Waco to hear him.

“Git him down from there, Son.”  Mr. Tennent ordered his oldest boy, Jake.

Jake let down the tailgate to the truck, unlocked the metal cattle rack on the back and jumped into the back of the truck.  He quickly unlocked the chains the young boy was secured with and led him by his leash to the rear of Mr. Tennent’s truck.  Jake jumped down, turned and opened his arms to the boy.  He picked him up and gently lowered him to the ground.  There were only men and young boys gathered around to see the new slave.  A new slave wasn’t of much interest to the women folk so the men didn’t have to watch their language.

Jake Tennent jerked the boy around by his leash to led him before Waco.  They still had his hands cuffed to the heavy iron collar around his neck.  He stood facing Waco and they looked into each others’ eyes.  Mr. Tennent took the leash from his boy to make a presentation to Waco.

“As best we can make out, B.B. here is exactly the same age you are, Waco.  We know’d his last name is Tin Penny, but he wouldn’t never tell us his first name so we jes’ call him B.B.  ‘At’s short for “Buzzard Bait.”   All the men laughed.  Waco didn’t, he was too busy touching the boy’s mind.  The Indian boy nervously glanced away from Waco’s gaze to look at the ground. “Happy Birthday, young man, and congratulation on coming of age and being a fine slave handler.”  Mr. Tennent said.  Mr. Tennent handed Waco the leash and was curious what he would do.

“Thank you, Mr. Tennent, I certainly appreciate yore’ gift.  He looks like he will be a fine slave for me and my dad.”

“On yer’ knees, slave, and pay homage to yer’ new master’s boots!”  Mr. Tennent ordered the boy and forced him with his hand on his shoulder.  Tin Penny didn’t want to comply but he was forced to his knees.  He lost his balance because his hands were locked to his collar around his neck and almost fell into Waco.  Waco reached down with both hands and grabbed the boy up to him and held him tightly in his arms.  Even though they were the same age, Waco was physically bigger and stronger than the scrawny boy.  He touched the boy’s mind.  He learned his name was “Rabbit”

<< Don’t be afraid, Rabbit.  Just lemme’ get this shit off’n you, pay homage to me’n ma’dad’s boots, and I promise you, you’ll never have to do it again unless you find us worthy. >>

The kid’s mouth dropped open as he returned his gaze to look deeply into Waco’s eyes and saw nothing but honesty.  He was struck by the empathy he saw and felt in Waco’s eyes and from the words that filled his mind.  It was more than a little remarkable and sent chills up his spine.  His curiosity overcame his frustration, humiliation and anger.

To compound his confusion, he saw two huge orange eyes flecked with red looking over Waco’s head and two enormous hairy paws resting gently on Waco’s shoulders which spoke to him and shook him to his core.  Rabbit witnessed what Waco and his brothers did to help the giant he called Na-tonk-ka-wee-ka rescue the young boy from the dreaded Thunderbird.  He was impress by the giant man’s agility, grace and power.

<< You stand before a fine and loving young master, Rabbit.  Don’t screw this up, boy.  You need a home and you won’t find a better one than this with these men.  If Na-tonk-ka-wee-ka, the old man of the forest, can allow himself to pay homage to this young man, a small runt like you can humble himself. >>  he heard the giant speak to him in his mind.  Of course Waco could hear the exchange and reached up to cover Ox’s huge paw with his hand as a gesture of affection and unity.  Rabbit saw the gentle smile that crossed Waco’s face.

“Mr. Tennent would you please remove his shackles, Sir.”  Waco requested.

“He’ll bolt for the road if’n I do, Son.”

“Have you implanted a chip in him?”  Waco knew the answer before he asked.  He found all the information in Rabbit’s mind.

“Yes, Sir, young master.”

“Then he won’t get far.  He can postpone it for a day.  He kin always run away tomorrow.  I don’t think he’s gonna’ wanna’ run away today and miss out on a good time, all the food he can eat, and ice cream and cake.  Besides, he’s gonna’ need food for strength if’n he’s planing on running.”  Waco smiled at Mr. Tennent and winked at Rabbit.

“Do as Mr. Goodnight says, Jake.”  Mr. Tennent ordered his son as he shook his head.  Waco proved him wrong before.  Jake unlocked all of Rabbit Tin Penny’s fetters and threw them into the back of the truck.  Waco held the boy to him the whole time and wouldn’t let him go until all his fetters were removed.  Rabbit only had a leather collar and his leash still attached.  Waco let him go and dropped his leash.  He looked Rabbit in his eyes and waited.

George Tennent watched in awe as the boy fell to his knees in the dust and kissed each of Waco’s buckaroo boots.  His leash fell across Waco’s boots.  He reached down with his head, took his leash in his mouth and raised his head for Waco to take it from him.  Waco put his hand under Rabbit’s mouth and the boy released it to his new master.  Waco reached down with his hands, pulled him back up into an embrace and held him tightly as he bussed a kiss behind Rabbit’s ear.  

“Welcome to the Goodnight Ranch, Rabbit.”  Waco spoke just loud enough for everyone to hear.  May your heart be at peace here and may you find a home with us.”  There was much applause from the men gathered.  Ranger Gibbons slammed his elbow into his brother’s side and grinned at Charlie real big to indicate how proud he was of Waco’s handling of the situation.

“Do you wanna’ pair of gloves to inspect him, Waco?”  Mr. Tennent asked.  He knew what Waco required from his visit to the auction house.

“Naw, Sir, Mr. Tennent, my daddy done taught me, h’it’s downright impolite to poke yore’ finger up a gift slave’s butt.”  All the men laughed, but they recognized it as a mannerly thing among slave owners.  You just didn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, and you didn’t poke your finger up a gift slave’s butt.

“He ain’t no virgin, I kin tell you that.”  spoke up Mr. Tennent’s son, Jake, “Rabbit,— at’s a good name for ‘em.  Ever’ damn time I fucked ‘em, he shot his load and fainted dead away.  Ain’t never seen me nothing like it.  He’s like a damn male rabbit what shoots his load, thumps his thumper several times and then falls over in a dead faint.  Pretty tight little ass though,— you gonna’ enjoy that, Waco.”

Waco looked around for his dad.  Charlie came up beside him and smiled at Rabbit Tin Penny.  Rabbit took one look at the handsome cowboy standing before him and his heart leapt to his throat.  He couldn’t remember ever seeing such a handsome man before and knew where his son got his strong, broad, handsome, good looks.  He was impressed by Waco, but Charlie Goodnight was like seeing the apparition of a skin walker,— one who could encompassed all physical beauty to cause a rational brave to commit irrational acts in an attempt to capture it.  Rabbit knew in his heart this man and his son were masters he could serve with pride.

Waco handed Rabbit’s leash to his dad.  Charlie saw what Waco did and thought he’d follow suit.  He was beginning to realize his son was a natural slave handler, and he wasn’t so proud he couldn’t learn from his boy.  He dropped Rabbit’s leash and the boy was on his knees in front of Charlie Goodnight in an instant paying homage to his big cowboy boots.  Rabbit once again gathered up his leash and raise himself to find Charlie’s waiting hand.  He dropped it into Charlie’s hand as a symbol of accepting him as his master as well as Waco.  Like son, like father, Charlie pulled Rabbit up to him, put his arms around him and held him close.

“Welcome to the Goodnight Ranch, Son.  You won’t have no problems here, Rabbit.”  Charlie said to the boy.

“Dayamn, Waco, what chu’ gonna’ do with all them slaves?” Ranger Gibbons kidded Waco, “Hell, Son, you almost done got chore’self  a posse.”   All the men laughed at Ranger’s comment.

“Gonna’ start my own rodeo team, Mr. Gibbons.”  Waco said without hesitation,  “Won’t need us no clowns neither.  I done figure my lummox can cold-cock them big bulls with one fist.”  Everyone laughed, thought that was a good response and patted Waco on the back.

Waco took Rabbit’s leash back from his dad and unclipped it from his slave collar.

“C’mon, brother, let’s us walk to the house and get chu’ some clothes to wear.  I got some older Wranglers and a pair of boots what are too small for me.  I think they jes’ might fit chu.’”  

Waco took off to the house follow by his posse of JR, Travis, Rabbit and his lummox.  Ranger Gibbons just shook his head as he watched the boys and the giant creature cross the compound to the big ranch house.

“This is gonna’ be a day to remember, brother.”  he dropped his big arm around Charlie and they shared a laugh.  “I think we ain’t seen the last of what them boys and that giant can do together.  They’re off to a pert-damn good start.”

* * * * * * *

Waco had a shelf in his closet with several pairs of older Wranglers he couldn’t get into any more.  They fit Rabbit perfectly and he found a couple of pair of his old boots that had a lot of wear left in them.  They both fit Rabbit like a glove.  Waco found him a couple of t-shirts and a nice Western shirt for him to wear.  Waco reached up on the top self of his closet and found an old straw cowboy hat he hadn’t worn in a long time, grabbed it and tossed it to Rabbit with a big grin.  Rabbit smiled as he tried it on and looked at himself in a mirror.  He was pleased with what he saw.  In fifteen minutes Rabbit was dressed and looked like any other young cowboy.  

He kept noticing Travis had on a slave collar, but he wasn’t acting like a slave.  He was acting more like Waco’s friend or buddy.

“Are you a slave, Travis?”  Rabbit asked quietly, almost fearful he might have said the wrong thing.

“Yes, Rabbit, my owner gave me to Master Waco and his dad just this morning.  I’m one of his birthday present from Ranger Gibbons and my parents.”

“He don’t have to wear his slave collar if’n he don’t want to.”  Spoke Waco, “You don’t neither, Rabbit.  You and I know you’re a slave, and I don’t need to see no collar ‘round yore’ neck to remind me.  H’it’s up to you.  Travis and me goes to the same school, and he jes’ wants all our school buddies who are gonna’ be here today to know he’s my slave now.”  Waco grabbed Travis around his neck, hugged him close and stole a kiss.  Travis giggled and blushed.

“I think I’ll leave mine on, too, then.  Am I gonna’ git to go to school?”

“Don’t see why not, but we can discuss all that later.  Come, let’s get out there and have us a good time.  For yore’ first day here, stick close to one of us.  If you have any questions or problems ask us.  Don’t be afraid to ask either ma’ little brother JR here, ma’slave brother Travis, Ox, or me.  You can even go to my dad or Ranger Gibbons.  They’ll help you.”

“How long has the old man of the forest been your slave, Sir?”  Rabbit asked looking at Ox sitting on the edge of Waco’s bed.

“Only a couple of days, Rabbit.  He and I have bonded pretty damn tight though.  I love him.  I was the only one what could hear or talk with him before you come along.  My dad bought him for me from Mr. Tennent.  He called to me and we rescued him from that awful place.  How long were you there?”

“They kept me for about three months.  It was because Jake took a shine to me and liked for me to suck him off and he liked to fuck my ass.  He weren’t mean to me or nothing.  I sort a’ tagged along after him.  He treated me like a little brother.  I got to where I liked have’n sex with him.  I just didn’t like being caged and chained up all the time.  I’ll miss him.  I didn’t wanna’ come.  I wanted to stay with Jake.  Are you gonna’ fuck me?”

“Only if’n ya’ont me to.  I plan to make a little love to my other slave brother here one a’ these nights if’n he’s so inclined.  I had me the hots for him for a couple of years now.  We done us our fair share a’ poke’n, grope’n and grab ass’n.  We’s talked about it a lot, but we ain’t never done nothing.  Even though we’s buddies and I love him like a brother, h’it weren’t my place to take him for his first time.  That right belonged to his owner.  Now he’s mine, I’m his new Master, we don’t have to worry about that none,— ain’t that right, sweet baby?”  Waco stole another kiss from Travis.

“Right, Master Waco.  I’m look’n forward to it.”  Travis replied and looked down at the wet spot at his crotch.  They all laughed.

* * * * * * *

Guest were still arriving until early afternoon.  Charlie and Waco specified in their invitations, food would be served around two o’clock and most folks arrived before then.  Charlie and Waco watched as a big, white, three-quarter ton Ford crew cab truck with a full bed pulled into the compound with a horse trailer attached to a fifth wheel in the bed of the truck.  It was Waco’s Uncle Angus, Charlie’s older brother and his family.  Angus’ family consisted of Jean, his wife of almost twenty years, his oldest boy Darnell who was going to be sixteen in August, his two younger boys Winston and Ed, and his two beautiful daughters Tammy Fay and Dawn.

Following the big truck close behind was a late model Ford cargo van driven by Angus’ ranch foreman, Bill Birdsall.  It was filled with Angus’ ranch-slaves.   Waco and Charlie knew them all by name and invited them through Angus.    

“I wonder if’n they brought Uncle Shane with ‘em?  I don’t see him in either truck.”  Waco whispered to his dad.  

“I hope so, Son.  I know you love yore’ Uncle Shane.  I love him, too.  He may have done some bad things when he was younger, but he ain’t that man no more.  He’s a good slave and a fine cowboy.  He’s also one of the finest looking cowboy-slaves in these here parts.”

“I know, Dad, I know.”  Groaned Waco straightening his hard dick in his Wranglers.

“I wouldn’t mind having my little brother as one of our slaves.  That don’t sound right, but you know what I mean.”  said Charlie.

“Yeah, I done thought about it myself, Dad.  He works hard for Uncle Angus and keeps his nose clean.  I can’t never remember Uncle Angus say’n nothing bad about him since he become his slave.”  Waco commented.

“H’it took some time, but after they got things settled between ‘em and Shane realized he’s gonna’ be his brother’s slave for a long time, he sort a’ hunkered down and decided if’n he couldn’t be a free man he was gonna’ become the best damn slave-buckaroo for his brother he could.  Angus treats him like any other slave.  Sometimes I think he’s a bit cold-hearted and unnecessarily strict with Shane, but you can’t fault his results.  Shane has done a hundred and eighty degree turn around.  I think after five years of being a slave, Shane’s pretty comfortable with his life.

You’re old enough now I can discuss a few family secrets with you.  I done asked Angus several years ago if’n he uses Shane like a slave.  He surprised me.  He didn’t hesitate and told me of course he uses him.  When Shane fucked up and Angus bought him as his slave he made up his mind, Shane became his slave first and his brother second.  It cost all four of us brothers a lot of money to buy Shane.  We never asked him to, but in the last five years Angus paid off Jessie and Dermont.  I told him I wouldn’t accept his money if’n he was to try’n pay me back.  What I done, I done for him and Shane.   

He told me he would never tell Shane, but after he started using him regularly, Angus fell more in love with him than he ever loved him before.  Angus don’t allow Shane to talk about their relationship.  He cuts him right off.  He tells him they don’t have no relationship but as a Master and his slave.  Angus recognizes Shane is biologically his brother, there ain’t nothing he can do about that, but he’s first and foremost, Angus’ slave.  He jes’ snaps his fingers and expects Shane to comply.  He said Shane ain’t never refused him.  Said he’s always clean and ready for his Master’s use.  Angus allowed he begged off once ‘cause Shane felt bad and was running a fever, but Angus said he made up for it later.

Angus won’t let no one touch Shane but him and his foreman, Bill Birdsall.  He’s told his boys and his other slaves not to even think about it.  He told his slaves if he found out one of ‘em forced Shane to have sex with ‘em he’d sell ‘em in a heartbeat.  If’n he caught one of his boys forcing themselves on Shane, they’d be looking at joining their uncle as indentured slaves for a year or two to see how they like it.  He told ‘em boys ‘at would be the only thing that would piss him off bad enough he’d not only consider it,--- it would be a done deal.  Bottom line:  if the boys wanted to remain free men, don’t fuck with their uncle.

Angus told his boys, Shane may be a slave, but he’s still their uncle.  He told me he never has told his boys he uses Shane and ain’t likely to. 
His boys ain’t no dummies.  He figures they done put two and two together.  I didn’t like it at first, but when I got to think’n on it, Angus is right.  He has every right to use Shane anyway he wants.  Sometimes, it’s the only way to show a slave your dominance over them.   Sometimes, it’s the only way you can show a slave you love and appreciate him without him manipulating you.  I didn't understand it at first, but now I'm beginning to see how much Shane needed that from Angus.  In a way, I guess Angus is doing what you do, Son,— he’s showing his slave his love by using him.  I know Angus can be a hardnose batard sometimes, but again, that's his right.  He's strict and tolerates no nonsense, but he would never abuse or hurt Shane.”  

“Excuse me, Dad.  There’s a huge pair of cowboy arms what’s git’n out of that big truck in a second, and I’s jes’ dying to fill ‘em.”  Waco told his dad.  Charlie laughed and patted Waco on his butt to send him on his way to his Uncle Angus.  

Waco ran to his Uncle’s arms when he saw the big cowboy get down from the truck.  For years Waco was a little shy of his Uncle Angus because he was such a gruff and rough talking cowboy.  Later he learned it was just Angus’ way and underneath his rough exterior beat the heart of a loving man.  A man who loved, looked after, protected and cherished his family.  Angus saw Waco on the run to him, took off his huge, wide-brimmed cowboy hat, tossed it in the air as high as he could, let out a buckaroo whoop you could’ve heard in the next county, spread his legs apart, slightly squatted on his haunches to brace himself for the full impact of the young cowboy coming at him like a run-a-way steam train, and opened his arms wide for his favorite nephew.

“Com’mer, ya’ little shit!  Come to yore’ old Uncle Angus’ arms, birthday boy!  Damnation, h’it’s good to see you again, Son!”  Angus shouted at the top of his voice as he grabbed up a laughing Waco and spun him around a couple of time stealing kiss after kiss.

“God, I love you, Uncle Angus.  You’s so full a’ shit!”  Waco winked at Angus and they both fell out laughing again.  “H’it’s good to see my favorite uncle again, too.  The good Lord above knows how much I missed you.  We ain’t seen ya’ll since Christmas.  ‘At’s jes’ too damn long!”  Waco exclaimed.  “You bring Uncle Shane wit’cha’?”  Waco tossed off.

“Yeah, he’s in the horse trailer with yore’ birthday gift.  Got chu’ some’um you’re gonna’ love cowboy.  I guaran-damn-tee-ya’!”  Angus stole another kiss and so did Waco before he put him down to greet his brother.
Charlie walked up, hugged and kissed his brother while Waco greeted his cousins and his aunt.  Waco’s posse was standing close behind and Waco’s relatives couldn’t help notice the furry giant that always seemed to be within a couple of feet of his young master.  Bill Birdsall was in awe of Waco’s lummox.

Uncle Angus,— Aunt Jean,— cousins,— Mr. Birdsall,— I’d like ya’ll to meet my three birthday presents.  Starting with the biggest, is my wonderful beast.  Mr. Tennent told me he was a lummox, but I don’t think so.  I shortened his name to Ox.  He just rescued the sheriff’s boy, Donny, from a Thunderbird what flew down and snapped the boy up.  My little brother JR, ya’ll all know, helped and so did my new slave brother, Travis Jessup.”  There was much talk among them.  They were thrilled Waco’s buddy Travis was now his slave.

“Last but not least, is my other new slave who only arrived a while ago.  He was a gift from Mr. Tennent and his family.  His name is Rabbit Tin Penny.  He’s originally from the Ogalaga Souix tribe.  He’s a fine looking young man, and I hope he decides to hang around for a while so’s we can git to know one another a little better.”

“Ain’t never know’d of a slave what ever wanted to runaway from a Goodnight ranch, young’un.”  Angus bellowed to Waco.  “Com’on, Son, we gotta’ git chore’ present and your slave-uncle out of the trailer.  H’it’s git’n pretty hot in ‘nere.”

Angus walked to the back of the trailer and knocked on the side as he walked by to let his slave inside know he wanted to get the pony out he brought his nephew for a present.  Waco was excited.  He never knew what his Uncle Angus would spring on him next; however, he knew whatever his uncle got him, it would be wonderful.  Angus Goodnight didn’t do things in a small way.  He was a big man and everything he did was big.

Waco wasn’t prepared for what his Uncle Shane led down the ramp out of the big trailer into the sunlight.  It was a most beautiful, handsome black Shire colt with a white patch between his eyes running from his forehead to his muzzle, but his most outstanding feature was his four white socks.  His feathers were already starting to grow in around his hooves.

Waco was beside himself with joy.  He wanted a Shire for as long as he had known about horses.  For him the Shire was the ultimate in perfection of the species.  It represented to Waco all that was good, strong and noble about the beasts.  He told his dad many times he thought he’d like to breed and raise them as a 4H project as he grew older.

“Like him, boy?”  Agnus bellowed.

“No, Uncle Angus,— I love him!”  Waco exclaimed taking his cowboy hat off and imitating his outrageous uncle by sending it as high in the sky as he could toss it.  Everyone was laughing at him and Angus.  “He’s the most beautiful colt I’ve ever laid my eyes on,— bar none!  He’s for me?”

“E’aup, he’s all your’n, cowboy.  Hope you enjoy him.”

“I will, Uncle Angus.  I can’t thank you enough.”  Waco hugged Angus and stole a kiss from him.  Angus was laughing and enjoying himself.

“And, Uncle Shane,— I’m so sorry.  Forgive me, you sort of got lost in my excitement.  I don’t know how.  You looked so perfect coming down that ramp with ma’ pony.   You look great.  You’re bigger than last time I saw you at Christmas.”

Waco went to his other uncle, gave him a big hug and a kiss.  Shane looked carefully at his brother who nodded to him.  Shane hugged and kissed Waco back.

“It’s so good to see you again, Master Waco.  Daymn, you’ve really grown!  Look at ‘chu!  Here’s your birthday present, Sir.”  Shane handed Waco the reins for the young pony.

Waco took a good, long look at his new pony and gently touched his mind.

<< Welcome to yore’ new home, young one.  You are so handsome and strong looking.  You will be well taken care of and loved here. >>

<< Is my mother here? >> he asked Waco.  Waco smiled and turned to his uncle who knew Waco’s abilities.

“He jes’ asked me if’n his momma was here, Uncle Shane.”

“He’s only been away from his mother about a week.  Master Angus said the man he bought him from said it was time for him to be weaned.  His momma is due to have another real soon.  It’ll take him a while to adjust.  Until then, he’s gonna’ need a lot of love and attention.  To be honest, I think he’s jes’ a little young to be weaned, but my opinions don’t matter much these days.”  Shane smiled mischievously and winked at Waco.   Waco shared a laugh.

<< Yore’ mother ain’t here, young one; however, I’ll try to find you a mare who might be willing to take you on as her colt for a while.  Will that help? >>

<< I guess.  Will you take care of me and feed me? >>

<< I’ll do more than that.  I’ll love you like yore’ momma loved you,— like you was my own. >>

<< Okay, then, . . . I guess it’ud be all right if I stayed for a while.  You seem nice. >>

<< Thanks, the other horses say I’s okay.  I’ll drop your rein.  Can you follow me, and I’ll see you get some’um good to eat. >>

<< I can do that. >> the pony answered meekly.

Waco dropped the reins and Shane looked at him funny.

“See that big furry critter what’s my new slave, Uncle Shane?”

“Daymn, he’s a big mother.  Is he what I think he is?”

“I think so, Uncle Shane.  Anyway, I have to talk to him the same way I do  ma’ponies.  He can help me with him.”

“Lord, Master Waco, I knew you’s a special boy, but where the hell did you find him?”

“He was at the auction house.  He called to me.  They had him chained up in a dark room and me and dad rescued him.  I’s only had him a couple of days, but dad said he’s already earned the price we paid for him.  He saved the sheriff’s boy’s life this morning shortly before ya’ll arrived.  Snatched him out of the claws of a Thunderbird.  He was a real hero.  ‘At’s why he ain’t wear’n no clothes.  The sheriff’s wife said he didn’t have to no more.”   They shared another laugh.

“What ‘chu gonna’ name yore’ pony, Son?”  Angus wanted to know.

“He ain’t got no name, Uncle Angus?”

“Nope, I wanted you to name him.”

“I think I’ll name him “Ranger” after someone I love very much.”  Waco winked mischievously at his big uncle and Angus knew who he was talking about.  Charlie and Ranger Gibbons were standing close by watching.  “That is,— with his permission, of course.”  Waco added.

“You know you got my permission, ya’ little shit!”  Ranger walked over to Waco and admired the pony, threw his big arms around Waco and stole a kiss.  Everyone there went, “Awwww...”

Charlie was thanking his brother for such a thoughtful and wonderful gift.

“Awww, hell, I know’d the boy’s been talk’n ‘bout Shires for a couple of years now.  Besides, you know me, Charlie, I got me a good deal on him.  I jes’ thought it might be a good start for Waco.”

“It will be and now he’s got all the help in the world to see his dream come true.”

Everyone watched in awe as Waco walked away with his new pony following close behind.   Angus and Ranger just shook their heads and grinned at each other.  No one but Waco could get a new pony to automatically follow them.

Angus snapped his fingers at Shane and pointed to Charlie’s boots.  Shane was on his knees paying homage to his brother’s boots in an instant.  Shane found Charlie’s hand waiting for him.  He kissed the back and placed it to his forehead to await further instructions.

“Rise, good slave, and show me your love.”  was the proper response he was waiting for from his brother.  Shane was in Charlie’s arms in an instant hugging and kissing his older brother.

“It’s good to see you again, little brother.  You’re look’n great.  Waco’s right, you do look bigger.  So glad you got to come.  Waco was upset when he didn’t see you in one of the trucks.  We love you, Shane.”  Charlie told him.

“Thank you for inviting me, Master.  It’s an honor and a privilege for me to be here, Sir.  You gotta’ know I love you and Waco, big brother.  I really appreciate being here, Master Charlie.”

“Hummph, not very much from your actions, slave.  I better not have to remind you to pay homage to your other brother’s boots or you’ll spend the rest of the afternoon in the horse trailer.  Do I make myself clear, slave?”

“Yes, Sir, Master Angus.  Yore’ right, Sir.  It was wrong of me.  Master Charlie deserves my best manners, Sir.  I’s so excited I jes’ wasn’t think’n and forgot my place.  I’m sorry, Sir.  H’it won’t happen again.  I promise, Master Angus, I’ll remember.”  Shane offered with sincerity.  There was no hint of anger in his voice; just resigned determination to do better.

“Good!  See that you do!  Now, pay homage to the rest of these free men gathered here.”

Shane moved next to Ranger Gibbons and went through the ritual with him and a couple of other ranchers in the area.  As if like clockwork, Waco’s other two uncles arrived.  They walked up and joined the men.  The next oldest after Charlie was Jessie and after him was Dermont.  Jessie had his family with him but Dermont just brought his two boys.  He and his wife were currently separated, but according to him, they were working on getting back together.  Shane was quick to pay homage first to Jessie’s boots and then Dermont’s.  They went though the ritual with him.  They were loving and gracious to their little brother.  They expressed how good it was to see him again, and they agreed he was looking well.  They both told him they loved him.

Rabbit was observing all this and it did something to his perspective to learn one of Waco’s uncles was also a slave.  He couldn’t believe the way he, himself, was being treated by Waco and his dad.  It was like the difference between night and day.  If he chose to, he could just disappear and head out to the road to try to escape,— maybe to the reservation where his granddad was living.  He couldn’t return to his home because his drunken, alcoholic dad had him enslaved for a minimal amount of money so he could buy more booze.

He didn’t think he would be running away today.  He was too interested in what was going on.  He hadn’t eaten so well in months, and he was included in all the games and activities at the party.  Waco, Travis and even the giant seemed to be interested in him and encouraged him to do his best at the games.  If he messed up, he wasn’t chastised.  He thought he’d give the place a try; after all, he didn’t think he’d ever get tired of looking at Master Goodnight.

Rabbit knew he was in love with Jake, but he couldn’t drink in enough of Charlie Goodnight.  The big cowboy made his dick stay hard all afternoon.  They were all so good to him and he noticed they were good to their slaves.  Even Waco’s big Uncle Angus, who owned his own brother for a slave, sat down and talked with him.  Underneath his gruff exterior Rabbit could sense a man who was genuinely concerned about him.

“Do you think you might be happy here, young man?”  Angus asked him.

“I don’t know, Sir.  Master Waco and Master Goodnight have been really good to me.  Everyone has been good to me.  I weren’t never allowed to talk to no body like I’m talk’n with you, Sir.  When I weren’t giving Jake a blow job or he weren’t fuck’n me, I was kept in an six by four foot cage.  Do you use your brother like a slave, Sir?”

“Can you keep a secret?”

“Yes, Sir!  I give you my word, Master Goodnight.”

“Of course I do.  He’s my slave first and then my brother.  I didn’t make him that way,— he done it himself, but I love him so much I couldn’t see my baby brother being the slave to some man what wouldn’t love and appreciate him.  I bought him ‘cause I figured if’n he had to be a slave he might as well be mine.”

“That makes a lot of sense, Master Angus.  Are you good to him, Sir?”

“I try to be, but I’m good to him as his Master and not as his brother.  I would never knowingly hurt any slave.  I just wasn’t raised that way.  Likewise, I try to be gentle with my slave-brother within reason, but as you probably know, male sex can get purdy damn intense sometimes.  Usually when that happens, I judge how much to give him by how much he’s begging me for.  I always give him just a little more’n he asks for.  That way he’s always reminded I’m in control and not him.”

“That sounds reasonable to me, Sir.  I wouldn’t mind ride’n yore’ pony for ya,’ Master Angus.  I’ll bet h’it’s a big’un.”  Rabbit grinned and blushed bright red.

“Why, thank you, young man.”  Angus was shocked but pleased by the boy’s candor, “‘At’s just about the nicest thing a slave’s said to me in a while.  Maybe when you’s a little older and a little bigger you kin talk with yore’ master, and he’ll loan you out to me for a while.  I think I might jes’ be able to scratch yore’ itch for ya.’”  Angus put his arm around Rabbit’s shoulder and pulled him close as they shared a laugh.  

“If’n you’s a mind to runaway, I advise you to do it the first week you’s here, Son.”  Angus counseled the young slave.

“Why’s that, Master Angus?”

“‘Cause, after one week you ain’t gonna’ be able to leave.”

“You mean they’re gonna’ keep me locked in a cage like the Tennents done?”

“No, no,— ‘course not!  My brother or Waco ain’t like them folks.  They’d never do that kind a’ thing.  It’s jes’ after one week, you’ll feel so at home here, you ain’t gonna’ wanna’ leave.  Why don’t you give the place a chance, young’un?  I’ll bet the next time I see you and ask if you still wanna’ runaway you’ll probably tell me you’d never consider it.  Besides, you need to eat more and fill out.  You’ll get fed good here and Waco and his dad will take a personal interest in you.  You can’t go wrong throw’n yore’ lot in with them men, Son.  Even though they’s my kin, they’s the best.”

“Thanks, Master Goodnight,— I appreciate you talk’n with me, Sir.”

“You’re welcome, Rabbit.  I think all you need is a chance, Son.  Give yore’self that chance by making yore’self to home here.  I’d like to take you up on yore’ generous offer,— say in four years.  You’ll be sixteen then,— jes’ ripe for pick’n.”  Angus roared with jolly laughter and got Rabbit laughing with him.

“My rear will grow shut by that time, Master Angus.”  Rabbit groaned and winked at him.

“Are you kidding?  Around this place?   I seriously doubt it.  I seen the way that big giant keeps look’n at chore’ little butt, and I’d say he could scratch yore’ deepest itch.”  they laughed, “Waco’s taken a shine to you, too.  I’ll tell you one thing about my nephew, he won’t force you into nothing.  If’n you don’t wanna’ give it up to him, he won’t never bother you, but once you do, he’ll be sniff’n ‘round yore’ backdoor like an old hound dog in heat.”  the men shared another round of laughs.  

* * * * * * *

The rest of the day was magic.  The boys played games and everyone participated.  Waco made sure Rabbit was included in everything.  There was enough food for an army of people and everyone got fed the same thing.  It was the way Waco wanted it.  There was to be no division between slave and freemen at his birthday party.  None of the guest had any problems with it.

The day progressed swiftly.  Everyone seemed to be having a good time.  Waco played games and opened presents.  The invitations stated no gift necessary, but most folks brought something anyway.  Charlie was proud his boy was that well thought of in their community.  Waco got a wide variety of gifts.  He stood and thanked everyone for their graciousness and thanked them for coming to his party.

His school mates were thrilled for him he got three new personal slaves.  They were happy Waco’s buddy Travis was now his slave, but most of them were equally wowed by his other two slaves, especially his giant.  As the afternoon went on all of them had to come up to Ox and stroke his fur or wanted to talk with him.  Waco or Rabbit had to translate for them.

* * * * * * *

Later in the afternoon, when the crowd began to thin and Waco’s posse was elsewhere occupied, he and his dad sat down at a small umbrella table with Shane and began to talk.  Shane was wearing one of Angus’ old hand-me-down Western shirts.  The sleeves were cut out at the shoulders because Shane had grown so massive he couldn’t get his arms through them.

Angus was always the largest of the five Goodnight boys.  Charlie was next; however, Jessie and Dermont looked like bookends they were so much alike and a bit smaller than their two older brothers.  Shane was now bigger than his oldest brother.  He stood six/four and outweighed him by a good thirty pounds of solid muscle.  There wasn’t an ounce of fat on Shane’s body.  Most all his clothes were hand-me-downs from Angus, but he got a new pair of boots every year on his birthday.  

Bill Birdsall, Angus’ ranch foreman, was an ex-marine drill Sargent and body building fanatic.  When he wasn’t in the saddle or doing work around the ranch he was in the make-shift workout center in the old barn near the slave quarter.  All of Angus’ slaves were buffed to the max but Shane was Bill’s protege.  Shane was the biggest of all, bigger even than Bill himself.  After five years of constant pushing, Bill had sculpted himself his own personal God.

Since he was the only other man on the ranch who had permission to use Shane, he made him what he wanted in a subordinate partner.  To say Shane was stunning was to say Lucifer was a bright angel.  On top of that, Shane inherited the best of both his parent’s looks and was exceedingly handsome.  He stopped men and women, who never saw him before, dead in their tracks.  His good looks and massive size didn’t go unnoticed by his brothers either.  

Angus looked upon Shane as a prize slave, like a rancher might look upon a prize bull or heifer.  He had to.  He had no choice.  While Angus was secretly proud of his baby brother, he would never let him know it.  He had a role to perform and, by God, he loved his baby brother enough he was going to do it for his sake.  Angus had to be Shane’s Master at all times and would never let his guard down for a minute.  He made that decision when he bought Shane for his slave and he would maintain it until the day his baby brother walked the Earth as a free man.

Jessie and Dermont approached him separately to ask if they might use their baby brother for a weekend or a couple of days for some project they needed to get done.  Angus was no fool.  He knew exactly why his brothers wanted to use their little brother.  Angus was having none of it.   While he never said ‘no’ to his brothers, he always accompanied his slave to make sure his brother’s ‘use’ was for ‘the project’ they had in mind.  Then he would sleep with Shane to make sure no one ordered him to do anything but work.  After a couple of times, they never asked anymore.  They came to realize it was Angus’ subtle way of telling them he wouldn’t allow them to take advantage and fuck their baby brother.   Angus made sure he quickly paid his two younger brothers back the money they lent him to purchase Shane as his slave.

Charlie never asked him.  Angus never expected he would.  Charlie was the only brother Angus could count on for anything.  He never hesitated to pick up the phone if he had a problem, because he knew Charlie would have an answer or be by his side as quickly as possible.  Charlie was the only brother whom Angus knew he could leave Shane with, and he wouldn’t be sexually molested.  When Angus mentioned paying Charlie back the money he loaned him to purchase Shane, which was over twice the combined amount Jessie and Dermont chipped in, he told Angus he didn’t understand it was a loan.

Charlie told him it was for his baby brother he ‘gave’ Angus the money.  He had no intention of lending it to him.  Charlie wasn’t indignant, but he was firm in his resolve his big brother shouldn’t have to be in this alone.  Charlie continued to give Angus money every year to help with Shane’s care and upkeep.  Angus never spent it.  He opened a savings account under his and Charlie’s names for the money to be given to Shane when he became a free man again.  Angus never told Charlie, but when he bought Shane he had Charlie’s name put on the ownership papers as co-owner, in case anything was to happen to Angus there would be no dispute over who got Shane.

“How are you, little brother?”  Charlie asked Shane.

“I’s fine, Master Charlie.  Thanks for asking.”

“You don’t have to call Waco and me ‘master’ when we’re here by ourselves, Shane.”

“Mean’n no disrespect, Sir, I have no choice.  I learned the hard way not to lie to my Master, and he always asks me if’n I show’d proper respect to all free men I talk with at a gather’n like this.  I won’t lie to him, Master Charlie, no matter the cost.  If’n Master Angus found out I weren’t showing you and Master Waco the proper respect as free men he’d have his old mule-skinner slave skin me alive and my sorry hide nailed to the barn door.”  Shane grinned at his over exaggeration.

“What if I ordered you to call me ‘brother’ and Waco ‘nephew.’?”

“It’ud be fine, Master Charlie, but to be on the safe side, you’d have to git his permission first.”

“Well, never mind then.  I guess we can git used to it.”

“You’re look’n great, Uncle Shane.  You gained some more weight?”  Waco asked him.  Shane sort of blushed.

“Yes, Sir, Master Waco.  I done gained another fifteen pounds.  I wanted to look good for yore’ party, Sir.”

“Well, you certainly do.  Are you happy, Shane?”  Asked Charlie quietly.

“Yes, Sir, Master Charlie, as happy as a slave can be, I suppose.  I don’t much think about it.  I do what I have to do to keep ever’body happy with me, and I’m content doing that.  Master Angus and Master Birdsall don’t work me too hard.  I git’s good food and proper rest.”

“I wouldn’t call slave chow ‘good food.’” smiled Charlie.

“It is when you’re hungry, Sir, but ‘at ain’t all I eat.  We get Sunday dinner which is always good, and we git leftovers Sunday evening.  I love cold fried chicken.  Once in a while, Master Birdsall will bring me back a plate for a treat if’n I’ve been really good.  I have a bunk in the slave quarters, but I mostly stay with him ever’ night.  Then, if’n us slaves is good we git to come to gatherings like this, have good food and a good time.  Thank you and Master Waco for invite’n us.  It means a lot for us to git away for a day and relax.”

“Well, of course we’d invite you, Shane; however, we know it’s up to Angus’ discretion whether he wants to allow you to come.”

“Yes, Sir, and he knows how much I love and think about you and Master Waco.  After five years of being Master Angus’ slave, I’ve come to realize just how good he is to me.  I never really appreciated him when I was a free man.  I jes’ took him for granted and never took him or his family into consideration when I messed up.  I knew if I didn’t mess up and Master Birdsall was pleased with my work, Master Angus would allow me to come to Master Waco’s birthday party.  This one was special for me, because I got to see you on the day you become a young man, Master Waco.  I got me a gift for ya,’ too, but I didn’t have nothing to wrap it with.”  

“You being here is all the gift I need, Uncle Shane, and I think Uncle Angus knows it.  When I didn’t see you in one of them trucks my heart ran down into my boots.  It was my first question to him, ‘Did he bring Uncle Shane.’”

Shane’s eyes got watery.

“Thanks, Master Waco.  That was a wonderful thing to say.  ‘At was a great gift to gimme’ on your birthday.  I was extra special good jes’ so’s I’d git to come.”  Shane excused himself, got out of his seat and ran to the back of Angus’ horse trailer and fetched a small box.  He ran back over and set it on the table in front of Waco as he sat back down in his chair.  Waco looked into Shane’s wide eyes and saw the most love, and the greatest anticipation for Waco to open his gift.  “Go ahead on, Master Waco.  It’s okay for me to give it to you.  I cleared it with Master Angus before we come.”

Waco smiled at Shane and carefully opened the box.  Inside there was something wrapped in white tissue paper.  Waco pulled it from the box and slowly unwrapped his present.  He was stunned at what he saw.  Charlie was equally stunned.  His mouth dropped open.

“Well, I’ll be damned!”  spoke Charlie softly in awe.

It was a small, wooden, hand carved, exact replica of Waco’s new pony.  It was perfection down to the colors and the eyes were two highly polished small stones of some kind that gave it an uncanny look of realism.  It was obviously a labor of purest love.  A great deal of time, thought, effort, and work went into the creation of the small six by nine inch wooden sculpture.

Waco was so overcome he broke into tears.  He was moved so deeply he couldn’t speak for a moment.  It was like his vocal cords vapor locked.

“Don’cha’ like it, Master Waco?”  Shane asked in dismay.

“No, Uncle Shane,— like I told yore’ Master when he asked if I liked the pony,— my feelings for your gift go way past ‘like.’  I love it, Uncle Shane, as much as I love my new pony.  It’s a wonderful gift, and I will treasure it always.”

“That’s the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen, Shane.  Why, it’s a work of art.” Charlie said as he took it from Waco to examine carefully.

“I carved it out of a two by six and my niece, Mistress Tammy Fay, gimme’ them black onyx stones.  They was her first pierced earrings when she’s a little girl.  She thought they’d make perfect eyes fer’ ‘em.”

“The whole piece is perfection, Uncle Shane.  I’m sorry I couldn’t speak for a moment.  I was so shocked by its beauty and how much it looks like my new pony.”

Waco got up and walked slowly around the table and asked Shane to stand.  He planted a kiss on his uncle that got a few folks at the party grinning and punching each other.  Angus and Bill Birdsall figured Shane had just given Waco his gift.  Angus knew Waco well enough to know the kid would be knocked out by Shane’s gift.  As they kissed, Waco could feel his uncle’s dick growing in his tight Wrangles and his rubbed his already hard cock against Shane’s.  They broke it off and Shane was blushing bright red.

“That’s for one of the nicest, most thoughtful gifts I got all day, Uncle Shane.  It’s, also, because I love you so damn much.”

“Thanks, Master Waco.  I love you a lot, too, and I’m so proud of you.”

They sat back down and talked some more.  Waco sat the wooden pony in the middle of the table for anyone to walk by and comment on.  Everyone wanted to see it, and Shane beamed with pride when anyone praised him.  It truly was a work of art.

* * * * * * *

The guest started leaving and it was hard for Rabbit to say goodbye to Jake.  Being as young as he was, Rabbit wasn’t mature enough to understand the difference in just having sex with someone and love.  He’d formed a major crush on the slave dealer’s oldest boy, and didn’t want to let go.  Jake told him he loved him like a little brother, but he was going away to college in the fall.  He couldn’t take Rabbit with him, and he thought he’d have a better home with Waco and Mr. Goodnight.  He promised to come back to visit him before the end of the summer if it was all right with Waco.  Waco assured Jake it would be all right with him.

* * * * * * *

As the Tennent’s said their goodbyes and were driving out of the property, Angus walk to the side of Rabbit, put his big arm around him and pulled him close.  He saw the big tears running down the boy’s face, and the big cowboy realized they were deep felt.  Angus knew Rabbit wasn’t just a kid crying because he couldn’t have what he wanted.  It was because he was hurting inside.

“Don’t ‘chu worry none, little one.” Angus whispered to him as he stole a kiss from the boy, “Jes’ remember what we talked about.”

Rabbit looked up at the big cowboy and smiled through his tears.

“Thanks, Master Angus,— I promise, I will.”  he was quiet for a moment then looked up at Angus with a twinkle in his eye, “Four years?  Dayamn!  You shore,’ Master Angus?”

Angus grinned at him real big.

“Okay, let’s say it’ll depend on how fast you grow.  You stay here, git chore’self some good chow, exercise and grow, I might be talked into shave’n a little off’n that.”

“I’ll do it, Master Angus.  You’ll be worth wait’n for, Sir,— I jes’ know it.”   

That was enough for Angus.  He grabbed up Rabbit in his arms, hugged and bussed a kiss behind his ear.

“You better, you little shit!  You don’t want this old man track’n you down to make you keep yore’ promise,— and I’d damn well do it, too!”  Angus had Rabbit laughing and squealing.  Even though his heart was breaking, the boy couldn’t remember when he had a better day.   

Most of the town folks left and the party was down to mostly family and close neighbors like Ranger and the crew from his ranch.  They were all sitting around the picnic tables enjoying more ice cream and cake, when out of the South came an enormous disk shaped object of a pure metallic substance that was so highly polished it reflected everything.  It was like a floating mirror in the sky.  More than a couple of mouths dropped open; however, Waco noticed Ox just got a funny smile on his face.

The ship slowly continued through the sky until it came to a complete stop over the Goodnight ranch.  It was humongous.  It was the size of six aircraft carriers lined up side by side.

“Hoe-lee shee-it!”  Ranger exclaimed.  “Would ju’ look at the size of that damn thing! What the hell is it?”

“I’ll tell ya’ one thing it ain’t, Ranger.”  said Angus to him with a slow Texas drawl.

“What’s ‘zat, pod’na?”

“Swamp gas.”  Replied Angus.  Everyone laughed nervously.  “We got us a gin-u-wine UFO, right here in the badlands of Texas, hover’n over my brother’s ranch.  Never thought I’d see the day I seen me one a’ them things.  I always thought folks was make’n them stories up.”

Waco heard something in his head.  Someone was trying to touch him, Rabbit, or Ox.  Waco looked first at Rabbit who automatically reached for his hand to strengthen their power.

<< Yeah, you’re reading three.  They’s two young’uns who are friends of mine, and they both be strong senders and receivers. >>

<< ‘Zat ‘chu, old buddy? >>  Waco and Rabbit heard in a distinctly Texas drawl.

<< It’s me.  I been expecting you, but not for a while. >>

<< I know, but things was git’n tight where we was.  Ping and Pong was git’n antsy to git out a’ there,— so here we are,— on yore’ front doorstep, pod’na.’  Like ma’ new rig, good buddy? >> The voice sounded like a trucker talking over his CB receiver to another trucker.

<< It's shore’ ‘nuff big.  Ain’t as purdy as that stacked out Jimmy with them white sidewalls you damn near killed us in. >> Waco and Rabbit heard much laughter. << Where you gonna’ park it, brother? >> Ox asked.

<< Younder,— North of here a little ways, in them blue mountains.  They’s solid granite.  I doubt anyone will find it inside there.  See you in a bit, good buddy. >>

And in the blink of an eye it was gone, only to be followed a few minutes later with an loud noise and a tremor of the ground like an Earthquake.

<< Lummy, what’s going on? >> Asked Waco.

<< An old friend of mine, Master Waco.  Known him for years.  Saved my hide more times than I’d like to think about, but I saved his a few time, too.  We got some history behind us, Sir.  Him and his two sidekicks might need a place to stay for a while.  He’s a good cowboy and there ain’t nothing he don’t know about or can’t do. >>

<< Should I tell ma’dad and the others? >>

<< Naw, he’s on his own.  I wanna’ see how he talks yore’ dad into let’n him stay. >>  Waco and Rabbit smiled at each other.  They could hear Ox’s booming laughter.
Rabbit was still holding Waco’s hand.  He gently leaned over and kissed it. Waco looked into the boy’s eyes and pulled him into a hug.  Rabbit started sobbing.

“H’it’s all right, little brother.  I know it hurts to let go of someone you love.”

“It ain’t that, Master Waco.  I’s jes’ so happy to be here and out of that damn cage.  I promise I won’t runaway.”  Rabbit told him.

“Glad to hear it, little brother.  I need someone who can hear them ponies and Ox.  Now we know we can hear spacemen, too.  You better stick close to me.  I got a feel’n we’s gonna’ need each other.”

An hour or so passed and there was much talk and speculation about what they saw.  The men were convinced it was a new government, super-secret aircraft.  Little did they know it had just made a trip from two galaxies and one dimension removed from theirs.   

Charlie Goodnight was the first to see him as he walked over the hill from the North.  He looked like an old time cowboy from the eighteen hundreds compete with hat, buckaroo boots, an old time handlebar mustache, a bandana around his neck and carrying his saddle over his shoulder like any seasoned ranch hand.  All the men stood in alarm to see a stranger walking toward them; however, just the way the man walked and swaggered like an authentic cowboy put them at ease.  He was obviously one of them; to say nothing of the fact he was one handsome son of a buck!  

He stood about six/four in heels, and while he was wearing a handsome, starched and ironed Western shirt with a black leather vest, you could tell he was an exceptionally well built cowboy.  He was broad at the shoulders and narrow at the hips.  He had a handsome, square face with a slightly pronounce chin which had a deep dimple.  He reeked of masculinity from fifty paces.  A couple of the women folk wet their panties and Waco could see wet spots at all his male relative’s crotches.  Ranger had the biggest.  He knew what he was about and walked right up to Charlie Goodnight and stuck out his hand.  Charlie took it and shook the man’s hand.

“Evenin,’ Mr. Goodnight.  Sorry to interrupt yore’ fine party for yore’ son, but I had to put down my horse in them blue mountains North a’ here.  I walked from there.  Name’s Long, Mr. Goodnight,--- Lazurus Long.”

End of Chapter 4 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2006 ~ Waddie Greywolf
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