Tal and Hanna watched the leathery, old cowboy walk slowly to the middle of the corral and stop. It wasn’t long before the curious young horse moved towards him, neck outstretched, sniffing. The man never moved, his voice barely audible. Each day was the same with little additions introduced to the routine.
Over coffee one morning, Tal questioned the cowboy’s tactics.
“Why didn’t you just rope that colt and show him who was boss right from the get go?"
A lazy smile creased the cowboy’s face.
“Son, there’s no use getting any older if you don’t get any wiser.”
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Some mornings she watched the moon set as the sun rose. Night and day blended into each other. Days off became planning time for the days to come. Often the work made her brain weary and physically worn, yet Hanna continued to push herself.
Mrs. Johnson understood Hanna’s tenacity, her sisu. The older woman had seen it before. There was no doubt why the young woman would not rest until she had accomplished what she had quietly taken on.
Others didn’t understand Hanna’s attitude, but Mrs. Johnson could see the reasoning in her eyes, her stance, and relentless perseverance.
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“You’re exhausted?” Hanna’s voice reflected her disgust.
Tal lay stretched out in the shade next to the hay bales. His hat covering his face so he didn’t have to see the look in Hanna’s eyes. He knew what was coming next. She was right, but it still didn’t make it any easier to watch her work as hard as everyone else. She shouldn’t have to. She was a woman, but he would never tell her that.
“You’d think by now you would have learned that ranching is 24/7/365. It doesn’t stop just because you think you’re exhausted!”
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