He stood alone in the corral
And softly swished his tail.
A shiver coursed the taut red coat;
His head dropped to the rail.
To see him there, bowed as he was,
It seemed that he was lame;
But in his eyes burned a raging fire
No one would ever tame.
For two long weeks he'd faced the best
And thrown them in the dust.
No man could touch his noble heart;
No man could win his trust.
"He can't be rode," the gray beards said,
Those men who'd seen his moves.
"That mustang's mean clean through and through,
The devil on four hooves."
But each day when the work was done,
There came a little girl
With big bright eyes that shone like stars
And shiny auburn curls.
Then little Nell, as she was called,
Would touch the trembling horse
And gently rub the flaring nose
And calm him with her voice.
Kindness affects both beast and man;
It matters not the source.
From man to man, or in this case,
A small girl and a horse.
So a bond was formed between the two,
This mustang and a child;
A rage no man could hope to tame,
She softened with a smile.
She talked to him and soothed his heart;
No spurs were needed there.
He'd perk his ears and whinny low
And sniff her auburn hair.
But then one day as fate so wills,
Two lives were changed as one;
She played her games by the corral
As often she had done.
There came a sound to his keen ears
Of danger he knew well;
A rattle sound in nearby rocks
Close by his little Nell.
He jumped the fence in one great leap
And reared up to the sky;
Sharp hooves beat down upon the snake
With little Nell near by.
The bunkhouse crew had heard the sound
Of Nell's cry of alarm
And had arrived there just in time
To see her close to harm.
A shot rang out and found its mark;
His body buckled then
And landed by the snake he'd killed
To save his little friend.
They saw the reason far too late
For Nell's heartfelt distress;
She softly cried as he breathed his last,
His head upon her dress.
Of all the gifts we can bestow,
It's kindness that is king;
For in a child or mustang wild,
It binds us to all things.