Gnarly Bandit: Odd Couples Therapy

Black HillsThe Gnarly Bandit was feeling a bit melancholy as he gazed at the quiet, snow-covered peaks of the distant Black Hills. The headline in the tattered newspaper in his saddlebag said it all. “Three Escape the Bandit! Make off with Fame and Fortune!” The Grizzled One sighed. They had given him the slip.

“Could’ve used that pot o’ gold,” he grumbled. “Might’ve bought me a less ornery horse.”

The old bay gave the Bandit the equine equivalent of the ol’ stink eye. He nickered, as if to say, “Might’ve also bought a few extra oats. Which may have gone a long way toward improving said horse’s demeanor…”

Quite the pair, they were. Like the characters played by Lorre and Bogart in Casablanca, it seemed they didn’t much like each other, but occasionally found one another useful. In the end, however, they appreciated each other’s company – though they would have admitted so only begrudgingly. No one was going to get all teary eyed or anything. Besides, the list of folks who would put up with either of them was fairly brief, and they were both pragmatic sorts.

The Bandit dismounted, and removed his trail-worn saddle. Slapping the horse on the rump, he said, “Well, be off with ya’, then!”

The horse galloped a few strides and stopped, turning. He appeared to grin back at the Bearded One, then nodded, before pointing himself north and heading off at a happy canter. The Bandit watched him go, not taking the horse’s overt joy personally. This was the beginning of their yearly vacation from each other, a respite that had proven quite healthy for their relationship, such as it was. He also knew, somewhere out there was a cute little mustang filly that was expecting a call.

GB pulled the newspaper out of his saddlebag, glancing at the wrinkled text. The wily John Maas, the intrepid Veronique Boucher, and the unstoppable Jordan Schmidt – in spite of his best efforts, they had proven tough nuts to crack. Fortunately, a whole new batch of nuts would be coming along next April.

So, it was time to start looking forward, as there was much to do before he met his mount back here in early spring – including assembling a new pot o’ gold. After all, Kickstarter campaigns didn’t write themselves…

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