Behold, here comes the great sensation,
Top of all our conversation:
1,000 dollars to the name
Of him who makes "Black Fury" tame!
But do beware and keep in mind:
This contest is no easy kind.
(Contestants over sixty-three
Had better play the Lottery.)
Bobby Box wrote this poem on the occasion of a big celebration in Black Bell which was to go on for a week. The revels were in full swing. The citizens of Black Bell, especially the cowboys, were demonstrating their courage and skill at riding wild horses. Everybody, of course, was hoping to win the first prize of 1000 dollars, but it was also quite clear that this time it was not going to be easy, indeed that it might be impossible. Among the animals selected there was a dangerous stallion that the most experienced older citizens considered unbeatable. It was called the "the black magic horse" or "the black fury" as it was enormous, unnaturally strong and powerful and had terrified the whole of Arkansas for years with its uncanny characteristics. It was first caught near Black Bell. People said that the extraordinary animal had gone into the corral of its own free will as it had a mission to fulfil in the area. Bobby Box strolled in. He walked all over the place as though it were a playground, taking no notice of either barriers or of the shouts and cheers. He found himself enveloped in clouds of dust, sand and dirt and in the middle of the craziest adventure. He heard a strange sound: "Keck ereck ereck!" Then - Oops! - Look out! - through the dust he saw a cowboy riding on a bucking bronco. - "My word! What price his life?" said Bobby to himself and the cowboy was already flying through the air high up above his head. Bobby called out in sympathy, shouting: "Good bye!" The flying rider vanished out of sight and his flight seemed to Bobby to be bound for heaven on a one-way ticket. - Bobby suddenly got a fright - a large set of horse teeth with sharp edges emerged out of the dust clouds. Oh dear! The riderless nag smelled the dilettant. Bobby made off, but those teeth had already seized his trousers. The shame of it! What a disgrace! Everybody was delighted and the spectators were beside themselves. Bobby ran on straight, his hat hanging down over his eyes, his feet scarcely touching the ground. He broke out in a cold sweat. The enraged nag was close behind him: he could hear it grinding its big teeth and the unshod hoofs pounding dully in the loose sand. As he raced along, Bobby was constantly reminded of Mr. Jim's cloven foot and of the nightmare to which this had given rise. He remembered the fallen trousers, the stamping, whinnying horses whose hoofs he again thought he heard. Had that nightmare been a premonition of this catastrophe? Immersed in such thoughts, which careered through his head like an icy wind, he had reached the back of the stables. A cowboy with the number 13 on his back was running ahead of him. Racing along at full speed, he overtook this cowboy, a strong lad who was to be the next rider and who was therefore making for the stable. The manager was already waiting outside stable Nr.13; he took hold of the first man to arrive, so instead of the designated cowboy, it was Bobby who got shoved on to the trapdoor as soon as he charged up. Bobby was delighted to have been saved, as he thought - but he was mistaken! He found himself on the huge back of the snorting "Black Fury" that was sending sparks flying in all directions. It took him a while to understand what was happening. The doors opened and the amazing animal to whose neck Bobby was clinging shot out into the arena like a rocket whistling through the air; it tore over the roofs of the stables on the other side and flew back in a loop to where it had started out. Now this unnatural horse performed the most extraordinary tricks. It leaped up about forty feet into the air and came down so slowly on to the sand that you would think it was suspended from an invisible parachute; then it danced and pirouetted to exotic music coming from somewhere or other. Finally, with a remarkable sense of rhythm, it battered down all the barriers and sent them flying like matches over the rooftops. Two long blue tongues of flame shot out of its nostrils and could be seen far and wide. In his terror, Bobby had held on for dear life, hoping for the best. But the black magic horse played ball with him, dislodging him again and again with a bizarre movement from its back, to catch him as he fell. Finally the stallion appeared to have been tamed, as it allowed Bobby to sit up straight and rode quietly around the arena with him. - Bravo! - bravo! - Bobby had saved the honour of the cowboys. - The sheriff handed him the 1000 dollars. Everybody seemed to be beside themselves with enthusiasm, but in fact green envy was eating them up and before anybody knew what was happening, the "black magic horse" had vanished.
Hurray for me the lucky winner
Stuffed with money like a sinner!
How much is life, how much the world?
Should I get my ties impearled?
Or should I loll with loaded eaters
savouring truffles, slurping huitres -
Bobby Box with haughty mien
Parading in a limousine?
For God's sake, Bobby, don't be rash:
Marygold must have the cash.