Ugly Bull – Mondays Finish the Story

Photo by: Barbara W. Beacham

Ugly Bull

“When it came to a challenge, Jim Smiley just had to jump right in!” said Grandpa Turner.

“Ah, that’s just a story, Gramps,” said 14-year old Nate. He patted the shoulder of Rover, his bull. The beast was getting anxious with all the noise in the fairgrounds. The tarp spread over his whole body kept him reasonably calm, but a touch from the boy who raised him settled him down even more.

“Ain’t no story. ‘Strue!” Grandpa held out a picture for Nate to see. “See? Got a plaque and everything. Ol’ Jim was the luckiest son of a gun anybody ever knew. You got that kinda luck too. I can see it, ‘specially on account a’ you finding Rover.”

“You really think we can win the ‘Ugliest Bull’ contest?”

“I know it, boy.”

Grandpa Turner had moved the family to Oklahoma after selling his ranch to a winemaker in California. Hackams Bend was a tiny town, far smaller than the famed Angels Camp Grandpa Turner was born to. The “Grandstands” for the annual rodeo held no more than 350 people. Folks had to drive in from neighboring towns just to fill it. They never failed to come, though. The much ballyhooed “Ugliest Bull” contest and other creative competitions outpaced even the Fourth of July for popularity.

For this reason, the competition was tough. The hundred dollar entry fee meant as much as $2,000 was on the line. Colton Funston had won for the past three years with Meany Bull. The huge beast loved to fight other bulls, and every year he sported a fresh set of scars. He seemed a shoe-in for this year too.

Colton was next to last to appear in the competition. Organizers liked to saving the best for later. He trotted Meany Bull around the rodeo ring as the audience cheered. The beast stood 5’10” at the withers, huge for a bull. One eye was scarred over and solid white. A rakish red new scar stood prominently on his face. From the cheers, it seemed he would win again.

Nate showed appeared last. The rodeo organizers thought it was cute and fun to have a 14-year old join in, but nobody expected him to have a chance. First of all, Rover stood only 4’10” at the withers. Kinda small. They expected him to be a curiously-marked young bull, hardly scarred yet.

At last, Nate removed Rover’s tarp in front of the rodeo fans. The crowd gasped. People chattered excitedly.

“What in Hayull?”

“It’s got long horns, but that ain’t no longhorn!”

“Where’s his hayer? He ain’t got no hayer!”

“Lookit that dang tail! Looks lahk he’s shittin’ a alligator!”

“Whut’s that huge growth on his neck?”

“Folks!” called rodeo announcer John Turnbull over the speakers. “I ain’t never seen a uglier bull in all my days. Whaddya say?”

The crowd cheered so loud they could hear it the next county. Turnbull announced, “I hereby declare, Nathaniel Turner’s, ‘Rover’ is the Ugliest Bull!”

Nate smiled at Grandpa Turner in the stands. The old man held up a hug wad of hundreds. Apparently, he liked gambling as much as the legendary Jim Smiley. Hats flew into the rodeo ring around Nate as the crowd cheered even louder than before.

All of it stopped when Colton walked into the ring, Meany Bull in tow. “No, no! This ain’t right! That ain’t no bull!”

Turnbull replied over the speakers. “What is it then, Colton? A goat?”

The crowd guffawed.

“That ain’t no bull an’ ay can prove it!” He set Meany Bull loose and pointed at Rover. “Sick ’em!”

Bovines don’t see too well. So Meany Bull trotted straight up to Rover, as confident as you please. But when he finally got a good look at Rover’s yard-long horns pointed straight at him, something extraordinary happened. The fightingest bull in the state…turned tail and ran.

Nobody ever saw Meany Bull again. Legend says he ran all the way to Mexico, then drank himself to death. Others say, he met a senorita cow, and gave up fighting forever. All anybody knows is, the Ugliest Bull in the world lived in little Hackams Bend, Oklahoma.
Author’s Notes:


That ain’t no Bull!

Okay, yes, Triceratops is REALLY big, but some Ceratopsians are smaller and when these aren’t fully grown, they’ll be smaller than a bovine bull, but still mighty nasty. That would be Rover.

Each week on Monday, it’s time to finish the story. This week, Barbara W. Beacham provided a pic from Calveras County (posted above). The opening sentence prompt was, “When it came to a challenge, Jim Smiley just had to jump right in!” Well, I researched by reading Mark Twain’s, “The celebrated jumping frog of Calveras County.” Great story. I wanted to do it homage with my story, but with the Science Fiction angle I always like. I hope you enjoyed it. Here’s a link back to the prompt page and even more stories:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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25 Responses to Ugly Bull – Mondays Finish the Story

  1. babso2you says:

    Another story that had me LOL! 🙂 Well done again my friend! Thanks for participating, and I hope to see you next week! Be well… ^..^

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a load of bull!..Nate had to win, and I hope goes on to win many more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! Yup, it is. Nate did, and he goes on to win for many years. Later, when Nate figured out what Rover really is, he voluntarily pulled Rover out of the competition. Still, it was a great run. Thanks for visit! 🙂


  3. Great story! I loved it. I looked at that picture after the story and it took me a minute to see that it wasn’t a bull but a dinosaur! haha! So creative.


  4. Lyn says:

    I’m thinkin’ bull? Ahh, bull frog (see, the picture kinda fooled me). Hmmm, be a mighty big bull frog to have to cover it with a tarp. But then when you said Meany was 5′ 10″, I thought now that really is a big bull frog. And then the penny dropped. LOL great story, Eric. Exactly what we’ve come to expect from you. Oh, was Colton Funston mayor of the town? He seems to have a good mayoral atti-tood. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Smoke and mirrors, they are my friends. My readers are such clever and well-educated people, I have to be extra sneaky to keep y’all guessing. Colton wasn’t Mayor but he was quite the influential figure in the town, and used to getting his way. At last, due to a freak of nature, he finally loses. I’m glad you had fun with this one. Thanks much, Lyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mara Fields says:

    HA! I loved your dialect dialog. Creates the world even better than any description of place. I’m glad you’re doing these challenges and giving us all something so fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. List of X says:

    Hey, that’s bull-cheat!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Danny Boy says:

    I enjoyed it as usual.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. John Yeo says:

    A great yarn spun out and woven into a tale worth telling ~ The Triceratops had a very large horn the scared the effluent out of Meany Bull ~ Eric this is superb ~


    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks so much, John! Yes, there’s something about a horn the size of a jousting lance attached to a multi-ton animal that’s really very intimidating. 😉 I appreciate the kind words. Glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂


  9. Indira says:

    I love the details and descriptions in your stories,’ “Lookit that dang tail! Looks lahk he’s shittin’ a alligator!”’What an imagination!

    Liked by 1 person

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