Dude Ranch

Posted on by Dave Woodruff

I sat unsteadily in my saddle, I think it might be too big for me. Do saddles have sizes? I am assigned a horse named “Shep” I suppose it’s short for Shepherd, can a horse be a shepherd?  I seriously doubt it’s in their nature.

“Today we can help herd cattle, go on a nature ride, get a sauna and massage, or... go into town and rob the bank.” A show of hands and we’ve let Mr, Marston know we’re not your regular dude ranchers, we want to rob the bank. 

We sit around our lunch of prepared cold cut sandwiches and mozzarella, tomato basil or chef salads and assortment of sparkling, vitamin, flat and still waters as we devise our plan for the bank heist. The Johnson couple will serve as lookouts, the gay couple will distract the tellers and managers by creating a scene, I will drive the getaway wagon, Mr. Marston and the Kendrick family will grab the loot and take care of any citizens thinking they may foil our plan.

I didn’t know dude ranches also too place in reenactments of old west events, but it certainly seems more entertaining than a massage, and we get to carry guns, they even seem real. We ride into the town on horseback, some people stare, others ignore us, they’ve seen the dude ranchers before, they’ve likely witnessed the weekly bank heist. We ride up on pins and needles, I can’t wait to whip the horses into a frenzy for our getaway. From outside the bank I hear the commotion, moments later gunshots, my heart starts racing, my part is coming soon. Within moments, the Kendrick’s fly out from the bank doors, Mrs. Kendrick has fake blood all over her shoulder as Mr. Kendrick carries her to the wagon. They are followed by Mr. Marston, his arms clutching bags of cash, before he enters the wagon, he spins and fires his pistol, dropping a bank guard in his tracks, he’s not dressed in western garb, he must have forgotten today was the robbery. “Go, go, go!” Marston screams at me. I whip the horses with fury and we’re off. “Shouldn’t we wait for the others?” I ask.

“They’re all dead!” Mr Kendrick screams, “They shot our son! I can’t believe this!”

I’m really impressed with the level of realism the others are putting into this charade. Suddenly, I’m a bit nervous, I hear multiple sirens closing in the distance, why are police cars chasing us? They didn’t have police cars in the old west. Marston sticks his pistol in my rids and commands me to “Ride like hell.”

Damn, maybe the sauna was a better idea.