Driving the Herd
The rocky hilltops are capped with shinoaks; down on the creek a few cottonwood and hackberries grow. Occasionally there is a feathery mesquite, but for the most part the miles and miles of rolling prairie are covered only with a sparse growth of brownish gray bunch grass and golden yellow curly mesquite. . . . Along the side of a wide valley, . . . winds the dusty, much worn trail. Along it for half a mile before us extends a motley mass of varied color, red and yellow, black, brown and white, like an inland; slowly moving flood with surface of bobbing horns and swaying shoulders and lashing tails. Among them everywhere rise tributary streams of hazy dust, merging about to form the great dust cloud that rolls northwestward. . . . The air is heavy with the smell of dust and cattle. The silence of the mighty prairie is broken only by the dust-muffled tread of ten-thousand hoofs making an all-pervading whisper as of wind among leaves; long horns rattle as they swing together, there is a creak of saddle leather while above and over all are the sharp and urgent calls of the cowboys, driving the herd.
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