he was a cowboy in a time and place when cowboys weren’t needed any more. oh, his dad still had the ranch out on the prairie and ran a few cattle. that was more as a hobby now that he had retired and moved to a house near town just off the highway — easier to get groceries and go to church.
an aging foreman took care of the everyday business of keeping the ranch alive; watching over newborn calves and growing a nice vegetable garden. the old fruit trees surrounding the house still produced a nice crop of apples. nothing stopped the wind but two strands of barbed wire.
his dad thought it would be a good idea to open a little diner on the lot next to the house. it would serve good ol’ american food and lots of apple pies.
since there wasn’t any cowboyin’ for the young man to do, he could run the diner and cook up chicken-fried steak and gravy. his wife could bake the pies and wait on customers. the little’un could do what little’uns do under his wife’s watchful eyes.
so he hung up his hat on a rusty nail in the barn; tied his spirit in a cook’s apron and well, just faded away.
i loved such a cowboy once.