Life at Hawk's Peak
By Ethan Gallagher
Days at Hawk's Peak begin before the sun rises over the mountains to bathe the valley in dull gold hues. The clouds like to make an appearance up this way, but we get enough sun peaking through to warm the bones on a cool summer day. Trees dot the landscape and fill the forests scenting the air with pine. The freshness manages to overpower the cattle when they're off grazing in the high pastures. Closer to home, the scent of freshly turned hay is carried through the wind.
The eagles, hawks, bears, and mountain lions will sometimes greet us as we venture into the pastures or the woods to wrangle in a stray cow. It's a glorious sight to behold!
Mabel's usually in the kitchen before the rest of us come back from first ride. Her freshly baked bread, apple pies and brewed coffee is enough to make a man fall down to his knees and propose. She'd likely bang a pot over your head if you tried. Gabriel is the cool-headed one of the bunch and rides a horse like he was born in a saddle. Never did meet a mustang he couldn't tame. Eliza is the best of us, that's the truth of it. She can ride, rope and talk her way in or out of just about anything with us. She's a tough one too. Truth is, take one of us away and Hawk's Peak just isn't the same.
Life isn't easy on the ranch, but it sure is interesting. Family keeps me on my toes and once in a while I'll sneak out with my brother Gabriel to play a round of cards in the bunkhouse. We don't venture into town much with all the work needing to be done at the ranch. It sure is a pretty place to hang your hat so I don't mind much spending my days riding the range or venturing up into the mountains and looking down on the glorious land my father worked and built up for us. This land is a part of us and good or bad, we're here to stay. There isn't a day goes by when I wouldn't rather be on the ranch.
by Eliza Gallagher
A warm prairie on a cloudless day,
the cattle stirring on the range.
The soft whisper of the wind through the tall grass,
starting a fresh new day.
Moment of courage, of strength, of restless times,
the rancher rides far into the sun.
The pain of the animal felt in every bone,
the wire stripping flesh from the body.
Sweat drips on the brow of his champion.
New life unfolds as the old is taken away.
The first step, the first cry. One life gone, another in bloom.
The roundup at dawn, a hard days work,
the grazing of the cattle, the suckling of the calves.
The horses sharp with every ride, alert with every turn,
guiding the people's salvation across the vast plains,
rider on top, the sun up ahead.
The slaughter comes, a child is fed.
A new day arises, a new life is born.
On the prairie at dawn,
the rancher rides into the sun.
What are you most passionate about? Horses? Skyscrapers? Sunsets on the desert?