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Pecos Bill - George Gibson

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PART ONE

Bill and the Coyotes

Pecos Bill was born in the East of the United States in the 1800's. He had a lot of brothers and sisters. Bill was the baby of the family.

When Bill was about two years old, his mother and father decided to move to the West. They wanted to be pioneers. They liked the adventure of the frontier.

One day they put all their possessions in a covered wagon and began their journey. The family crossed forests, mountains, rivers and plains. They saw many new things. They met friendly Indians.

When they arrived in Texas, little Bill fell out of the covered wagon! His brothers and sisters didn't see him fall out. His parents didn't see him fall out! That evening his parents looked for him. They looked everywhere, but they did not find little Bill. They were very sad but they continued their journey.

Little Bill was all alone in the plains of South Texas. He was an intelligent child. He looked around. He saw mountains, cacti and other small plants. It was very hot. Then he saw a cave. He went inside the cave and slept. He slept for a long time.

In the cave there was a family of coyotes. There was a mother coyote and five small coyotes. The mother coyote liked little Bill. She decided to protect him. Bill liked his new mother and his new brothers and sisters. He played with the little coyotes. The coyote family was kind to him. He copied the coyotes and learned to run and eat. He learned to drink water from the river.

At night Bill howled at the moon with the coyotes. Bill learned to speak the language of the animals. Soon Bill forgot about his human family. He thought he was a coyote!

Many years passed and Bill grew up. One day when he was about 20 years old, Bill was at the Pecos River with the other coyotes. He drank water with them. A cowboy saw him and asked, «Why are you drinking water in that way? You aren't a coyote!»

Bill looked at the cowboy and said, «Yes, I am!»

«No! You're not a coyote!» said the cowboy.

«Of course I'm a coyote! This is my coyote family,» said Bill.

«Where's your tail?» asked the cowboy.

Bill looked in the water of the Pecos River to see his reflection. He didn't see his tail. He looked and looked. He turned around and looked again. He was surprised. He didn't have a tail!

«You're right. I'm not a coyote. My name is Bill. I'm a human! This is a big surprise for me,» he said.

The cowboy laughed and Bill laughed too.

«My name's Tall Tom. I'm a very tall cowboy. This is the Pecos River and I will call you Pecos Bill! Come with me, Pecos Bill! You can be a cowboy with me. We can work together at the Longhorn Ranch.»

«What's a cowboy?» asked Pecos Bill.

«A cowboy watches and guards the cattle and horses. He takes cattle from Texas to other places. People from the East buy our cattle. They like good meat. A cowboy is a strong, courageous man.»

Pecos Bill wanted to be a cowboy. He said goodbye to the coyotes. He was sad to leave them. They were his friends.

Then he said to Tall Tom, «Let's go to the ranch!»

The cowboy gave Pecos Bill some cowboy clothes. Pecos Bill looked at the clothes and laughed. Then he put them on.

Tall Tom rode his horse. Pecos Bill walked near him because he didn't have a horse. It was a sunny day. The sky was blue and the sun was hot.

PART TWO

King of the Cowboys

Pecos Bill and Tall Tom travelled under the hot sun. It was a long journey. When they arrived at the mountains, it was evening. Pecos Bill said, «I'm tired. Let's sit down and rest.»

«That's a good idea,» said Tall Tom. «My horse is tired and thirsty.» He gave his horse some water to drink.

Pecos Bill and Tall Tom sat down under a big tree. There was a blackbird in the tree. It sang a happy song. Pecos Bill knew the language of the animals so he spoke to the blackbird. They had a long conversation.

Pecos Bill and Tall Tom ate some biscuits and drank some water. Pecos Bill gave the blackbird some of his biscuit.

Tall Tom sang a Western song.

But remember the red river valley

And they want that has loved you so true.

Pecos Bill liked it and asked, «What's the name of the song?»

«It's called Red River Valley. Many cowboys in Texas sing it,» said Tall Tom.

Tall Tom made a fire and they talked about a cowboy's life. They looked at the stars in the night sky. Then they fell asleep. Early the next morning they began their journey to the ranch.

After two days they finally arrived at the cattle ranch. The other cowboys were happy to meet Pecos Bill.

«Welcome to Longhorn Ranch,» said the cowboys.

The ranch was very big. There were longhorn cattle everywhere. They ate grass and drank water at the river.

Pecos Bill saw the cowboys on their horses. Every cowboy had a long rope in his hands.

«I want to be a cowboy,» Pecos Bill said to Tall Tom. «What must I do?»

«First, you must find a horse. Second, you must have a rope. Then we must take all the cattle to the Red River Valley. We must sell the cattle there. The Red River Valley is far away. It is a long, difficult journey.»

Pecos Bill looked around. He saw a black horse near a cactus. No one wanted to ride that horse. He went to the horse and talked to it in animal language. The horse didn't answer. Pecos Bill got on the horse. He tried to ride it.

After a few moments the black horse bucked him off! Pecos Bill tried again. The black horse bucked him off again.

«You're a bucking bronco! That's your new name: Bucking Bronco,» said Pecos Bill to the horse.

Bucking Bronco bucked Pecos Bill off for three days. He did not want a master. Pecos Bill was strong and determined. He wasn't afraid of Bucking Bronco. He wasn't afraid of anything!

Bucking Bronco was a beautiful horse, but he was very wild. On the fourth day Bucking Bronco stopped bucking. He understood that Pecos Bill was a special cowboy. Pecos Bill was very strong. Bucking Bronco knew that Pecos Bill was his new master.

Pecos Bill and Bucking Bronco became good friends. Together they roped the cattle of Texas. Together they took cattle from Texas to other states.

Pecos Bill became a famous cowboy. He was the best cowboy at the rodeos.

Everyone knew him and liked him.

He became the King of the Cowboys of Texas!

After a few years, Pecos Bill met a beautiful woman called Sue. She was very friendly. Her home was near the Rio Grande River. Pecos Bill loved her and she loved him.

One sunny day in April they got married. Everyone at the Longhorn Ranch celebrated the wedding. There was an exciting rodeo. There was music, dancing and a lot of good food.

Soup Sam, the friendly cook, organised a pie -eating competition.

Tall Tom's favourite food was apple pie. But he did not win the competition. His friend Big Bob won the pie-eating competition. Big Bob ate 88 apple pies!

Pecos Bill and Sue were very happy at the Longhorn Ranch. Pecos Bill never forgot his friends the coyotes. And he never forgot the language of the animals.

— THE END -

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