Fun with Hub
By James Thorne (Winner – Adult Category)
Hub was tough. He’d grown up on the ranch, like his father, and his grandfather. He loved its barrenness, wandering for days between fences. He did as he pleased: the privileged son. There was work, but he didn’t mind it. He was left alone.
Everyone figured Hub a natural for the rodeo. He’d be
unbeatable. Of course, Hub thought, that was how it always was. On the ranch or in the rodeo, he knew he was the best.
He didn’t like the city. He preferred the country; the quiet nights, the darkness. The city had neither. There were too many people, and they didn’t treat him with respect. But that would change.
He was classed with others. Hub was annoyed. Everyone started that way, he was told; they didn’t know him yet.
Competitors boasted of how strong they were, how they could ride anything. Hub’s friends laughed. Hub would show them.
The bull-riding was ferocious. Broken limbs, torn muscles, twisted fingers caught in ropes, whiplash to the neck; better these than to be trampled, gored, bloody clothes stamped into the mud. Cowboys began to feel nervous.
Hub wasn’t scared. It was great fun, in fact, something to tell them back on the ranch. Every time a rider went flying, he’d smile to himself, jump up and down, laugh till he snorted.
“And here comes another,” Hub thought contemptuously, as he felt a rider gingerly position himself on his back.
“Another fool thinks he can stay on me for eight seconds…”