Please note: you will probably want to read at least one of the HANK THE COWDOG series before you read this fic

It's me again, Hank the Cowdog.

How would I know that by the end of the day, the ranch would be occupied by a strange spike headed kid with a red, striped shirt, and a small stuffed tiger that ended up not being so stuffed?

It all began in end of July as I recall. Yes of course it was! Because we had just gone through a long brutal summer, and the days were beginning to get cooler.

The local chickens were being their usual unintelligent selves.

Do you know how I know that chickens are unintelligent birds? Well if you put it into perspective, it's pretty obvious, if watch your average dumb-dumb hen, you will notice that she will spend her entire life pecking the ground. Now think about that. What kind of idiot would spend their whole life slamming their heads into dirt? Oh and did I mention their squawking? They sometimes stand in the middle of nowhere and squawk their heads off for no reason at all. No kidding, they'll stand there clucking and squawking and screeching!


I have no idea.

Ask a chicken.

I see it as a waste of time.

I mean SOME of us have to work for a living, but not for those deranged creatures!

They will stand there looking simple, and... anyway, where was I?

Oh yes! The end of July. I was aslee... I was going over a monster report and things were getting tense, when all at once, Drover burst into the office.

OK, maybe I was asleep, but who wouldn't be? I had been dragged down! Worn to a nubbing of my former self! So it made perfect sense, and full meaning that I was... well... asleep.

Never mind.

Where was I?

Oh, yes, Drover burst into the office.

"HANK! Come quick! There's a large flying monster after Little Alfred! I tried to bark him away, but he came after me! Hurry!"

I lifted my eyes, and opened my head.

Lifted my head, and opened my eyes shall we say, and gave him a stern glare.

"Brover! I hate it when you honk the porkchop in the middle of April! And further more, tomorrow's tuna fish will brush their teeth with upside down pickle sauce!"

he stared at me for a long moment.

"My name's Drover." He said.

"Exactly! I feel we've broke this case wide open!"

I shook the sleepo vapors out of my head, and began pacing in front of the mutt.

"What day is this? Who's on first?"

"Well, I don't know what day this is, and I don't think anybody's going on first."

I whirled around and stabbed him with a piercing glare.

"What do you mean, 'nobody's going on first'? Somebody has to go on first! If nobody goes on first nobody can go on second."

"Yeah, but... go on what?"

"On life, Drover! To climb into mountainous chair of life's control panel!"

"Sounds like a lot of work."

"Of course it's a lot of work, Drover. If nothing we did around here was work, we'd be a bunch of lazy dogs! Is that what you want?"

"Not if you put it that way."

"Nobody wants to be lazy Drover! Especially us! We are The Elite Troops of the Secure..."

I cut my eyes from side to side.

This conversation was making no sense.

I gave my head a shake, and stepped away from the huge black hole that centered in my pea brained assistant's forehead.

I began to climb back into my chair of thought, and all of Drover's nonsense faded into the distance, so to speak.

I turned back to him, and gave him a stern glare.

"I know perfectly well what your name is, Drover, the point is..."

I stopped.

"Drover why are you staring me like that?"

He was giving me a loony stare.

"Well," he said. "I guess I'm confused."

I stared at him.

"CONFUSED! How can you be confused at a time like this!"

"Well, I don't know."

There was a moment of silence.

"Then what is the meaning of this brainless conversation!"

A light came on in his empty eyes.

"OH yeah! There's a big red bird, chasing Little Alfred!"

I stared at him.

"A big red bird? HA! I doubt that son, because, there has never been a BIG red bird on the ranch. But just for laughs, lets hear about this big red bird."

he squinted one eye, and rolled the other into the back of his head.

"Well lets see here."

his eyes popped open.


"my goodness! Go on Drover, tell this court about this mysterious headless bird!"

"His wing is just one long thread, and when I saw him, it's wing was wrapped over Little Alfred's arm!"

On hearing this, my ears leaped to full alert position.

"Ok, Drover we've gathered all the information we need! One more question... WHERE IS LITTLE ALFRED!"

He pointed his nose at the machine shed, and I rushed off to confront the horrible long winged porckchop!

"DAD!" Calvin screamed. "Where are we gong?"

"I told you." sighed Dad. "I need to pick a flight to Texas. I have some business to do down there!"

Calvin grabbed Hobbes and pulled him off to a corner.

"Hobbes! Dad is taking us to TEXAS! Do you know what this means?"

"We get hands on experience on cowboy work?"

"NO! it means we're going to where desert and total dryness roams! We'll be starved! Roaming deserts and crawling around sand dunes with vultures over our heads."

"Vultures are actually called buzzards down there." Hobbes said.

"Big deal, the point is that we better skedaddle before Dad gets any big ideas!"

Hobbes stared at him.

"But we're not going to be near a desert, Calvin" he said. "We're going to in a city, most likely."

There was a moment of silence.

Calvin blinked.

"How do you know!" He challenged.

Before Hobbes could answer, Dad called, "Come on Calvin!"

Mom and Dad pushed and shoved Calvin into the car.

"Why do we have to ride in a CAR to Texas! Why don't we just fly?" Calvin asked.

"Calvin," Mom said. "There is no flight to Texas till next week! We need to get there by Saturday!"

Calvin grumbled, and they spent the next few days riding in the car.

He had ran out of comic books to read on the fifth day, and was now getting bored.

"Are we there yet?" Calvin asked.

"Calvin we've just entered Texas, now" Dad said.

Calvin's eyes popped open.


"We're in the southwest corner of Texas. We need to be in the panhandle." Hobbes pointed out.

Calvin squeezed his eyes shut, and sunk into his seat.

That Saturday evening, Calvin's dad was driving around the panhandle, completely lost.

"Dear, just ask someone for directions." Mom kept saying.

At last, dad stopped the car in front of a bearded man wearing glasses.

"Excuse me, sir." dad said. "I'm wondering if you can point us out to Twitchell?"

"Why, shore." said the man. "It's five miles west of here. But all the hotels are checked out."

Dad gritted his teeth, and closed his eyes.

"NOW WHAT!" He said turning to his wife.

"There's a guy I know that'll take ya in." the man said.

Dad turned back.

"What's his name?"

"Loper. He works on the next ranch down the creek. I'm his hired hand. The name's Slim."

Dad and Slim shook hands.

"Thank you, Slim." Dad said. "You say this Loper will take us in?"

Slim grinned.

"Probably not cheerfully but he'll do it, I'll have to call him up tonight and make some arrangements. You just go down there, and get to know him." He said.

"Thanks" Dad said, and with that, he drove off.

Calvin was horrified.

"DAD! DON'T LISTEN TO THAT GUY!"He bellowed. "He could be a convicted murderer! Or a mime! Or a vampire! Or a demented talking doll! Or a giant mutant earwig from planet DingDong!"

"Your watching too much Twilight Zone." Hobbes said, turning the page on his comic book.