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Moving on and on
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Bronc is a young 21st century guy, connected to the world even though he lives in a disconnected part of it, in the wilds of the high cold sagebrush desert. He has moved on from one life to another a couple of times. As a kid and a teenager, he had a chance to learn a lot about ranching from Walker, Annie and John. John especially took him under his wing – as if he was a son. Taught him to ride, rope, break horses, decide when to hay, when to bale, when to declare it winter and start feeding hay, when to drive the cattle out to the desert for spring, summer and fall, and how to organize that drive.

But as a very young man, he started feeling trapped, like this was the only life he could chose, he hardly barely had words for it. He was restless, wanted out. So, he joined the rodeo. Team roping, he was great at it, first traveled around the country, then got in with a rodeo company that traveled around the world – Europe, Asia. Saw a lot.

When he was ready, he went back to ranching country, not to Annie and John’s place, just around, an itinerant worker. Once the word got out that he was back, he was in demand and season by season, he drove his camper from one ranch to another.

He didn’t have words to explain what he was doing, but one day, he finished haying at one ranch a couple hundred miles away, and drove to Annie’s place, tipping his hat as he passed John’s grave. Annie came out of the barn, saying, “Wondered when I’d see you.” She gave him a big hug, took him by the arm into the kitchen and made him lunch, even though it was not even close to lunch time. She could always read him, and he must have looked as hungry as he felt.

After, answering her questions about his rodeo life, he got down to it: “You lookin’ for any help with haying or the fall gathering?”

Annie, “I always need your help, you know that.”

Bronc, “You don’t need to talk to Walker? He was pretty pissed when I left.”

Annie, “You lemme take care of that. Park you camper near the bunkhouse.”

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