The Champion

He stood just inside the arena. He glanced up to see the stands nearly full. With the toe of his boot he dug into the soft dirt, it had been worked until it was soft as a mattress. He adjusted his hat, squaring it over his eyes, blocking out the bright overhead lights.

He knew that tonight was his last chance to shine. He coveted that championship buckle; up until now it had eluded him. For the third time he checked the fastening on his chaps. He flexed his fists in the new kid gloves. Then they called his name: “First up tonight is Jeron Carpenter, number 14. Ladies and gentlemen give him a big Texas welcome.”

Jeron looked back over his shoulder at his dad sitting on the rail fence, smiling and giving him a thumbs up. He managed to smile back, then mounted up.

The buzzer sounded and he was out of the chute. The ride was a blur, then, again, the buzzer sounded and he was still riding.

He smiled up at the crowd, he knew he had won.

The announcment was made. He was the Mutton Bustin Champion.

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