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My name is Adam Applegate. And, I used to be a number-cruncher for the Payroll Department of the Towne-Kerr Modeling Agency in Los Angeles, California. A job that, quite frankly, was a lot like being the piano player in an Old West whorehouse!

I might have been surrounded by a lot of action. But, I _never_ got a piece of it.

It's true! This isn't self-pity talking (well, not completely, anyway). I saw, first-hand, that there was only one type of guy that their non-lesbian super models were interested in dating: tall, dark, handsome, and rich. I was short, pale, plain-looking, and middle income.

English translation: beautiful women, like that, found me _completely_ resistible.

Oh, I tried to be thick-skinned about it. So I could, at least, derive some vicarious enjoyment from my work. Still, the only time I felt truly happy was during my annual two-week summer vacation. When that rolled around, I headed straight for my favorite place on Earth. The Northgate Dude Ranch in western Wyoming!

It's a quaint little spread that stays in business by occupying the main tourist route between Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Although, it's a lot closer to the northern entrance of the latter (hence the name). And, while I'm there, I can literally ride tall in the saddle atop Little Buckaroo.* The smartest Pony of the Americas west of the Mississippi!

Anyway; one day, this past summer, I was riding him near the southwestern edge of Yellowstone. And, that's when I saw them. Two dirt bikers chasing a white mustang. No, I don't mean the Ford sports car! I mean a genuine, flesh-and-blood wild stallion as white as the proverbial snow. But, it wasn't his coloration that caught my eye.


It was incredible. I had heard campfire stories, during mock-cattle drives, about Albino Pacing Mustangs. Yet, like the rest of my fellow tourists, I had considered them just good-natured malarkey, meant purely for our entertainment.

This was no campfire story, however. Like I said; it was a flesh-and-blood creature. And, he was trying to evade his pursuers by heading for Yellowstone. As if he instinctively sensed he'd be safe there.

So, I urged Little Buckaroo into a full gallop. Heading straight for the half-way point between the white stallion and the dirt bikers. The latter had to pop wheelies to keep from colliding with Buck (who, quite understandably, whinnied and reared in alarm)!

Moments later, Buck had calmed down enough that I could talk to these guys without dismounting.

"Sorry, boys. But, you're headed for Federally protected land. No civilian off-road vehicles allowed!"

The taller of the duo glared at me.

"You think we give a shit? Not when there's millions of dollars involved!"

"Yeah," added his accomplice: "And, that's how much East Coast breeders stand to make, off a stud who can guarantee horses that never break stride during a harness race!"

I shrugged: "I don't give a shit about East Coast breeders. I'm not letting you tear up Yellowstone's acreage just so you can get rich quick."

The two of them looked at each other. Then, they looked at me...as they slowly withdrew a pair of handguns from beneath their windbreakers.

"Who's gonna stop us?" demanded the tall one.


Before either of them could turn around, they were each clutching at their asses while yelping in pain. Their outcries ended, however, when they fell flat on their faces. Thus, they never saw the gorgeous Native American girl, kneeling behind them, armed with a compound bow.

Nor did they see me almost fall from Buck's saddle as I witnessed them shrink to the size of Santa Monica Pier kewpie dolls!

To be continued
Chapter End Notes:
*Buckaroo: Western American slang term, derived from the Spanish "vacquero" ("cow herder").

Pony of the Americas: a relatively recent breed developed from crossing Appaloosa horses with American Shetland ponies. The latter derived from crossing Welsh ponies with Old World Shetlands proper!

Albino Pacing Mustang: a genuine piece of crypto-zoological folklore. Dating back to, at least, the 19th century.

Kewpie doll: the most common prize awarded for successful ball-throwing at American carnivals and amusement parks (such as the one that occupies most of Santa Monica Pier).
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