“Hey Midge!” called Jake as he ran through the gate.
“Hi Jake,” said Midge. “You are sure in a hurry this morning.”
“Did you hear?” asked Jake.
“Hear what?” asked Midge. “Slow down.”
“The rodeo is in town tomorrow,” said Jake.
“The rodeo?” asked Booker-T as he came into the yard to join Jake and Midge.
“Yes,” said Jake. “The rodeo.”
“What is a rodeo,” asked Booker-T.
“It is these guys riding bulls and horses and chasing cows,” said Jake.
“It is really exciting Booker-T,” smiled Midge. “Jake and I went to see what it was one time.”
“Do you want to go see?” asked Jake.
“Yes,” said Booker-T. “I want to see the horses and the cows. But why are they riding bulls?”
“It's for fun,” said Jake.
“How is it fun riding a bull?” asked Booker-T. “I remember seeing a bull in the field over that at the Smith Farm. He was mean.”
“That's why they ride them,” said Jake. “They try to stay on the bull to win some money.”
“Oh wow,” said Booker-T. “They win money for riding a bull?”
“Yes,” said Midge. “But they have to stay on a certain amount of time or they lose and the bull wins.”
“The bull wins?” asked Booker-T. “What would the bull do with the money.”
“He wins but he don't get anything for winning,” said Jake. “Only the man gets the money.”
“What does the bull get?” asked Booker-T.
“Nothing,” said Jake. “Only gets to go back to the barn to eat.”
“I guess for a bull that is good,” smiled Booker-T. “Why do they chase cows?”
“They are baby cows,” said Jake. “They open this gate and the little baby cow runs in and the man hurries on his horse and throws a rope on the baby cow. Then the man jumps off the horse and ties up the cow.”
“Oh my,” said Booker-T. “He ties up the cow? Why?”
“I don't know why,” said Jake. “But the one who does it faster wins some money.”
“Wow,” said Booker-T. “They sure do crazy things to win money.”
“I know,” said Midge. “But it is fun to watch. Some of the horses are really pretty.”
“What else do they do at the rodeo?” asked Booker-T.
“They have girls riding horses around barrels,” said Jake. “They have to go really fast around these three barrels. Sometimes they get too close and knock the barrel over on the ground and then they lose.”
“That's sad,” sighed Booker-T. “They have to be careful not to hit the barrel.”
“I know,” said Midge. “But sometimes they knock them down.”
“I'm excited now,” said Booker-T. “I want to see the rodeo.”
“Do you want to go and see the horses and the bulls?” asked Jake.
“Where is it?” asked Midge.
“They are on the Smith farm,” said Jake. “They always do it there when they come to town. He has the big arena for the rodeo and there are bleachers there for people to sit on.”
“The horses and bulls are there now?” asked Midge.
“I saw the trailers going there this morning and some went last night,” said Jake. “They come past my house when they go there.”
“Lets go,” said Booker-T hurrying to the gate.
“Wait for us,” laughed Midge.
“Slow down,” said Jake. “We will get there.”
“I want to see the horses,” said Booker-T stopping to wait for Jake and Midge. “I like horses.”
“They are pretty,” said Midge.
“And they are so strong too,” said Jake. “Some of them are wild. They ride different horses when they do bucking.”
“Bucking?” asked Booker-T. “What is bucking?”
“The horse tries to knock the man off his back,” said Jake. “So he is kicking his legs in the air trying to make the man fall to the ground.”
“That has to hurt,” said Booker-T.
“I think it does,” said Jake. “Sometimes the horse can't make him get off and another man on another horse rides over and grabs the man and pulls him off.”
“They don't want him to ride the horse?” asked Booker-T.
“If the man stays on the horse until the other one comes to get him,” said Jake. “The man wins money.”
“They win money all the time?” asked Booker-T.
“Yes,” said Midge. “They are doing it for money.”
“That seems like a really hard way to get money,” said Booker-T. “Do they get hurt when they get dumped on the ground?”
“Sometimes,” said Jake. “Most of the time, they are okay.”
“I wouldn't like to be thrown on the ground,” said Booker-T.
“Okay, lets go see the horses and bulls,” said Jake as he and Midge followed Booker-T as he hurried down the sidewalk.
The three hurried along the sidewalk to the school. As they entered the school parking lot, they saw Gabby splashing around in a bird bath.
“Hey Gabby!” called Midge. “What are you doing?”
“Enjoying the water,” said Gabby as he sat on the edge of the birdbath.
“Wow,” said Jake. “When did the school put in the birdbath?”
“I don't know,” said Gabby. “I was on my way to your house and saw it and thought I would try it out. Then I forgot to come to your house. Where are you guys going?”
“We are going to see the horses and the bulls,” said Jake.
“They are at the Smith farms,” said Midge. “Booker-T wants to go see them.”
“Do you want to come with us?” asked Midge.
“Sure,” said Gabby. “You guys go ahead and I'll follow along soon when I finish splashing around here.”
“Okay,” said Jake. “We will see you later.”
They crossed the street and went into where the circus was and crossed the bridge over the small river to the Smith Farms. In the field near the house they saw some horses eating hay.”
“Oh Midge,” said Booker-T. “They sure are pretty. I like that big black shiny one.”
“He is really pretty,” said Midge.
“I don't see any bulls,” said Booker-T.
“I think they might be in that big barn over there,” said Jake. “Come on, lets go see if we can get inside the barn.”
They hurried across the field and found the door to the barn cracked open and Jake peered inside. “Wait,” said Jake. “There is someone in there feeding the bulls and the baby cows.”
They peeked in the door and saw the man going from stall to stall giving them something to eat. When the man finished feeding them, he started toward the door and the three friends quickly hid behind a stack of wood piled near the barn. When the man went to the house, they went to the door and it was still cracked open. They entered the door and stood staring at the bulls. Each bull was in its own stall and in the big area was about 10 baby cows.
“Aren't they big,” said Booker-T. “Wow and they sure look mean.”
“I think they are mean,” said Jake.
“It will be fun to watch them throwing men to the ground,” said Booker-T. “I can't wait to see the rodeo.”
“Lets go home and we will come back tomorrow to watch the rodeo,” said Midge.
They walked back to Jake’s house.