This is a one-shot from the movie "Open Range," on the night that Mose is murdered and Button is shot.

I don't know the names and personality of the horses, so I made up my own.

This is told through the viewpoint of Mose' horse, a chestnut gelding named Cowboy.

Please R & R!


A Cowboy's Perspective

I tossed my head, listening to the bantering chatter. It seemed usless, I assumed Button and Mose were fighting over wheter or not to eat the rest of that sugar. The day was boring, dusk falling away to dark. I wondered briefly where Smoke and Rancher where coming back with Boss and Charlie. It was so boring to be left alone with Black Eye while they meandered around.

Grazing had been taken care of for the day, and my bridle was still in place, so I stood next to my black companion and snorted in amusment. He was lipping at his tie of the rail, in that playful colt way. He reminds me so much of his rider.

I was content, watching the flames from the fire dance, reaching higher to the sky that they would never to able to accend to. The cattle were happy in the way that it dosen't take that much to please a cow. Give them safety and a field of grass and they're happy as clams. This all took some explaining to Black Eye, who was still an immature youngster without much of a brain. I'd much rather have Smoke and Rancher hear to snort with.

Man, I thought to myself. I wonder whatever Boss and Charlie had to do on a night like this. So quiet and peaceful.

I cast an eye at Black Eye, who was now pawing the ground in frustration. He couldn't figure out how to get lose, so he'd decided to show his discomfort to me. Stupid colt.

He whickered to me, and pawed to my face. The dirt sprayed around my legs and near my face. I winced at him, then layed my ears back and snapped right at his little neck.

He pulled back in surprise and I glared him down for a moment.

"Stupid boy!" I snorted back at him."Don't you know we just went through the river and won't go again until morning? You have to learn patience!" I scolded.

Black Eye lowered his head, miserable and upset. I turned from him, fed up with his immanurity.

Suddenly, something in the distance caught my attention. There was the sound of approaching hoofbeats. I raised his head and whickered before I could stop myself, assuming that it was Smoke and Rancher coming back for the night. But I could instantly hear, the hoofbeats were different, distintly different. There were dark shapes in the distance, but they were not his companions.

My entire body tensed. I shifted with uncertainty. Beside me, Black Eye nickered, his fear betrayed by his voice. I didn't answer him, my eyes glued to the spot. Then, a shot awas fired, piercing the wagon.

I panicked, rearing against the ties and pawing the air. Something was after me. The people were getting closer, Mose rose from the fire quickly, but suddenly fell back to the floor with a thud.

"Mose?" Button asked, his voice quivering. "MOSE?!" then he was silenced, with another thud. I heard a soft whine, that became silent as well.

The men came close to camp galloping on strange horses. I was becoming deperate, I reached back and snapped my head to the left in a quick motion, severing the rope that bound me. I snapped at the rope that held Black Eye, not about to leave him to his self. I galloped off towards the cows, seeking safety. I saw the strange horses galloping into camp and didn't care. I wondered about Button and Mose breifly, but surely they could care for themselves?

There were loud noises coming from camp, sounds of rumaging and such. Then, one of the men started toward the cattle. I whickered to Black Eye and was off again. I wanted to find Smoke and Rancher. Where ever they were, Boss and Charlie were they are well. And with Boss and Charlie there was always safety.

I galloped off, making sure Black Eye was beside me. I sure as anything was not going to let the last one get lost. The colt galloped beside me, his insecurity oblivious on his face. I felt a strong need to protect him from the men around us.

Suddenly, I heard hoofbeats in the distance. I turnde my head to the sound, and was overjoyed to hear Rancher's familar whinny call out. I responed quickly and was off towards him. Closer, I could see his and Smoke's broad blazes, and Smoke's patches of white in the dark night. I was joyfully reunited with them, Black Eye at my side.

"Whoa!" Charlie called out to me in surprise. "What'er you boys doin' out here?" he asked, reaching for the end of my rope that droped to the ground. I butted Rancher playfully in the head, happy to be back with them. Boss caught up Black Eye's rope, his thoughtful eyes playing over the colt's body. Besides being extremly shook up, he seemed alright.

"What spooked ya, boys?" Charlie asked, turning towards camp, wondering how long they'd be lose. Not long, or Mose and Button'd be after them." He turned for camp, Boss following him.

Charlie's face turned from a smile to a frown the closer we got to camp. The, Rancher shied away, clearly afraid of something. I felt it too.

It was the stench of death and blood.

Charlie stared in the direction of the camp, then hollered for Boss to hurry. He dug his heels into Rancher's side who bounded off, me beside him even though Charlie had dropped the rope. I could hear Smoke and Black Eye following us, even as we came into camp and Charlie made a flying dismount and rushed to the smoldering fire.

Even as Boss followed suit and left the four and us standing alone.

Even as the darkness erupted into sorrow in the blackness.

Even as this war's tangled arms, ensnared us as well.

For now, all we can do, is sleep.