Author’s Note: This piece has been edited and now appears in “Angel Songs, 20 Christmas Short Stories and Poems, plus Recipes” by Dona Watson. Click here for more info.
When I thought of today’s topic, a quiet scene drifted through my mind and I decided to share it with you — just a small portrait of a peaceful night. I hope you can see it through my words just like I saw it in my mind.
In fact, someday, I think I’d like to go there in person.
by D.L. Watson
“Whoa there,” Hank crooned to the big buckskin and slowed to a stop. Leather creaking, he leaned back in the saddle and lifted the brim of his hat, looking up at the dark night sky. With no moon, the stars sparkled and shone, pinpricks of light against a midnight blue canvas. The cold air threatened to creep inside his coat, so he snugged the collar just a bit tighter. Off in the darkness, a steer sounded a minor complaint, followed by a slight shuffle as the cattle readjusted positions, yet still huddling close in the frigid night air.
Hank took a deep breath, inhaling the dusty, earthy smell that was cattle and he exhaled in contentment. The plaintive sound of a harmonica drifted across the herd as back at the campfire, old Brody played a slow refrain of “Silent Night.” A man couldn’t ask for a better life. Out here under the stars. In the peaceful quiet of a Christmas night.
This vignette is part of a Writing Challenge I have undertaken to write something every day in the month of December on a pre-selected list of topics. Photographer Jacqueline Ashford is keeping pace with me on the same list of topics, her with a camera and me with a keyboard. You can see Jacqueline’s gorgeous photos here. We’re having way too much fun with this mutual challenge. (You can see the list of topics here.)
Tomorrow’s Topic: Tradition