One Halloween day Texas Slim and Pecos Pete lounged around the bunkhouse fire. A chilly wind blew tumbleweeds past the door. The cows were all fed and the two cowboys had nothing else they wanted to do that day. That is, nothing to do until Texas Slim had an idea.
“Hey Pecos, you reckon the kids are still in school.” He looked at his big toe poking through a hole in his sock.
“I reckon so.” Pecos Pete chewed on a straw. “Why?”
Texas Slim grinned. “It being Halloween and all I think we ought to go scare them a mite.” Pecos Pete sat up in his bunk.
“How do you mean scare them?”
“I reckon we just sneak up to the school house and pop in sudden like. You know all dressed up like ghosts or such like.”
“That does sound like a good time.” Pecos Pete grinned now. “But it’s kind of mean scarin’ kids ain’t it?”
“Oh we’ll take some treats or something to make up for it.” Texas Slim pulled on his boots.
“Alright, We’ll have to stop at the general store.” The two cowboys saddled up and galloped into town. They loaded their blankets. On the way Texas Slim had another idea.
“I should dress up as the headless horseman. When you spook ‘em out of the school house, I’ll come riding up and send ‘em runnin’.” He laughed at his own cleverness.
“How are you going to be headless?”
“Like this.” Texas Slim pulled his jacket up to the top of his head and buttoned it.
“You better take your hat off. It just looks confusing that way.”
“I was planning on it.” They were getting close to town now. “You just get them scared out.”
“You reckon the teacher will be mad at us?” Pecos Pete scratched his scruffy chin.
“We’ll give her some candy too. She’ll be fine.” They rode to the grocery store and bought two big bags of candy. Texas Slim stuffed them in his saddlebags. Pecos Pete snuck up to the schoolhouse while Texas Slim worked on his headless horseman outfit. Pecos took his rope. He planned to attach it to the roof of the schoolhouse and swing in front of the windows. It would look like he was floating in the air this way. He chuckled to himself as he neared the schoolhouse.
As our cowboys prepared their plan, Farmer Bob led his prize cow down the middle of the road. The cow had arrived just this morning on the train all the way from Wisconsin. She was no wild longhorn, but a genuine, prize-winning, milk cow. Calm and gentle, Farmer Bob could lead her around like a horse. He owned the local dairy and he was excited to be expanding his herd. Everything was going just fine until the Headless Horseman came prancing down the road.
Now this cow was not used to Texas. She was not used to wide open prairies, tumbleweeds, and rattlers. She for sure wasn’t used cowboys dressed up like the headless horsemen. Texas Slim’s horse was nervous and sashayed sideways just as they met Farmer Bob in the road.
“What in tarnation?” That was all Farmer Bob could say before his prizewinning milk cow bellowed and jerked the rope from his hand. She bolted straight toward the schoolhouse. Now Texas Slim’ horse was a good cow horse and it was used to chasing running cattle. It followed the cow right through the yard.
“Whoa! Whoa!” shouted Texas Slim. He discovered one giant problem with his costume. His coat shifted and he couldn’t see a thing. That cow took one look at the open door of the schoolhouse. It looked like a safe and comfortable barn. She barreled into the middle of math class like a freight train leaving Wisconsin. Children screamed and scrambled out of the way. The teacher jumped up on her desk. Texas Slim’s horse followed that cow right into the schoolhouse. Unfortunately, the door was not tall enough for a horse and rider, even a headless one. Texas slim slammed into the top of the doorframe and fell right off his horse.
“Out, out you filthy beast.” The teacher waved an umbrella at the poor, terrified cow. The cow decided that this barn full of screaming children and menacing teachers was not place for her. She jumped through the window where Pecos Pete stood watching the mayhem. He barely had time to jump and grab the cow by the horns. His blanket, that he’d been holding, covered the cow’s eyes. The blinded cow ran around the yard three times with Pecos Pete perched on his head.
Texas Slim’s horse bucked and kicked around the room. Candy flew everywhere like a sweet and tasty snowstorm. Children braved the flashing hooves to grab the treats. Texas Slim remained unconscious on the floor. The teacher waved her umbrella again. The horse jumped over Texas Slim and ran out the door. Pecos Pete finally got the cow calmed down. He returned the frightened critter to Farmer Bob.
“Here you are. I reckon she got a might spooked.”
“What in tarnation are you fellas doing?” Farmer Bob looked at his huffing cow.
“Well it was just going to be a Halloween prank for the children.” Pecos Pete was doing some huffing himself.
“Well you sure scared the cow.” Farmer Bob took his frightened beast and headed down the road.
Texas Slim woke up sputtering and shouting when the teacher threw a bucket of cold water on his face. She shook her umbrella at him.
“What do you mean chasing a cow into my classroom?” She yelled. The children all giggled. It took Texas Slim a while to respond.
“We just uh we just, uh. Where’s my horse?”
“He’s outside. You get outside too, you ruffian. How dare you interrupt my class?” She shook her umbrella again. Texas Slim staggered out the door. Pecos Pete brought him his horse. All the kids followed him into the yard. Texas Slim finally managed to get into the saddle.
“Happy Halloween, kids,” Pecos Pete called as they rode from the yard. All the kids shouted and cheered. The teacher just put her hands on her hips.
“My head hurts.” Texas Slim rubbed his aching forehead.
“You took quite a licking there partner,” Pecos Pete said,” but I reckon we gave those kids a Halloween they’ll never forget.”