Cowboys and Sorcerers, Part One

gunfight

From the opening of the television show “Gunsmoke.”

The 21st Story in the Adventures of the Ambrosial Dragon: A Children’s Fantasy Series

6,000 years ago in Bronze Age China, Bingwen Lóng, a dragon disguised as a man, Yao Jin, a sorceress and sword wielder, and Xia Jiuzhou, an eight-year-old boy whose real name is Landon, stand on a ridge overlooking the mystical and mythical city of K’un-Lun.

“I shall miss our time here.”

“Yao Jin, we were all almost killed here.”

“Yeah, I want to go home now.”

“We will, Landon.” Bingwen Lóng looked down at his friend and patted his shoulder.

“It was still an extraordinary experience. Even you must admit that, Landon. After all, you met an immortal moon goddess and the daughter of a dragon.”

The boy took a deep breath. Yes, it had been thrilling to be among such amazing people, but he missed his Dad, his Grandpa, and his little sister.

“Well, as Landon said, time to go home.”

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The Folsom Mystery

folsom site

Lindenmeier Arroyo and Folsom Man Hill. Photo courtesy of the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery.

Fox and Ashe were talking, staring into the pool of water supplied abundantly from an underground source, the lifeblood of beasts and men. The soldiers had been keeping their distance but Travis was aware of their presence and the potential threat they represented.

“I can’t believe you remember me after fifteen years. It was just one class.”

“I was an impressionable eighteen year old, Dr. Ashe, and in you I thought I’d found a kindred spirit, a man who valued the traditions of his ancestors as much as I did. Most of my family thought I was crazy. Still do.”

“Mine too, Travis. And call me Gordon.”

Fox was still embarrassed at having been taken by surprise earlier, so this time he was paying better attention, and his keen hearing detected the man approaching them both from behind. Almost anyone else would have been taken unawares. Whoever the newcomer was, he was very good at being quiet.

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Canyon of the Moon

desert

Found at the Orogold Store Locator website

Travis Fox rode his horse down the arroyo at the edge of his Father’s land, except he was dead so it was his land now. Try convincing his Uncle Wendell of that, though. He thought he was running the ranch. Travis tried not to fight with Wendell. He wanted peace in the household for the sake of Cassie and the children.

He’d never thought of himself as a rancher. Always fought his father’s ways until it was too late. Cancer took him, his father, strong, brave, Apache. In the end, he was just a wasted, tired old man. Not like his grandfather Chano. Chano remembered the old ways. Yes, he was born in the 20th century, but Chano’s grandfather told him the stories of the blue coats, of the treaties that were always broken, of being herded like animals into reservations.

Fox’s two sons and one daughter were children of the 21st century, but Travis longed to preserve the heritage of Chano and his ancestors. Chano died strong, fearless, still seeing past what had been done to him and his people, still disdaining those among them who had surrendered to alcohol and despair.

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