Quick traded a Bowie knife and an Arkansas toothpick for a cayuse with brown clouds across its white rump. The horse looked strong and knew how to dance and fly. Quick harnessed a rope bridle and threw an old Mexican saddle blanket over her. The horse galloped so fast, he thought his skin was peeling back like a shedding snake. Quick rode back to the stable for his gear and the skinny black dog that he’d been giving scraps to, followed them out of town. The first night they camped under some cottonwood trees, he had some grain and there was scrub grass for the horse. He stirred up a pot of coffee and made some venison stew, throwing the dog some deer jerky. The stars were happy and making love in the sky. Then the dog started farting and the horse must’ve felt challenged. The: who stepped on the bullfrog contest, was on. Quick moved his bedroll back from the fire, he didn’t feel like getting all his hair singed off in case of explosion.
Catfish McDaris won the Thelonius Monk Award in 2015. He’s recently been translated into Mandarin, French, Polish, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Spanish, Yoruba, Tagalog, and Esperanto. His 25 years of published material is in the Special Archives Collection at Marquette Univ. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He’s listed in Wikipedia. His ancestors are from the Aniwaya Clan of the Cherokee Nation.