|Texas cowboy by Stanley L. Wood (1866-1928), English illustrator|
Jacob, sweating on the stoop, was dreaming of ice cold lemonade and cowboys when the bull ran down 51st Ave. Sweating because Queens, NY in 1939 was a sweltering brick oven enduring an early heat wave, on the stoop because he was deemed too fat, too slow, too odd to play stickball with the other boys. Dreaming of cowboys because his father had run off out West to join the ranks of the fabled riders.
At least that's what his Mum had said, what he'd shared with the boys, what he clutched in his heart like a bedraggled toy from childhood.
Inspired by a 1939 NY Times story - "Fair Steer Escapes and Dashes 2 Miles; Roped By Cowboy After Its Race Through Corona". The steer bolted through the fair, through the World's Fair Boulevard gate into Queens, crossed Grand Central Parkway Extension, up 111th St., finally being lassoed at 46th Ave and 108th street.
Jacob will witness the wild chase in the streets of New York, come face to face with a real life cowboy - and take a step on the path to manhood.
The full text of the story was originally posted here; however, the organization World Reader in conjunction with ReadWave requested the use of the full story as part of its literacy program to provide free stories in digital format for children in developing countries.