Hard to Have Heroes

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UNM Press, 2012 - Fiction - 242 pages
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When fourteen-year-old wannabe cowboy Noah Odell and his widowed mother leave rainy Gold Hill, Oregon, to join Noah's flamboyant uncle Bud on a ranch in New Mexico, they find themselves in the middle of nowhere with daily temperatures in excess of 100 degrees; enough rattlesnakes, buzzards, and hungry coyotes to start a zoo; a dozen scrawny steers; and a smelly outdoor toilet overrun with black widow spiders.

When Bud presents Noah with a cantankerous mule named Brimstone, the adventures begin. Accompanied by his new best friends--an unlikely cowboy philosopher named Marvin Couch and a precocious tomboy prodigy named LaDonna Hawthorne--Noah and his mule encounter some of the Chihuahuan Desert's strangest characters. Green space monsters, eccentric Apache college professors, jackalopes, royal Spanish ghosts, and an inept gang of local bullies assure that the days are never dull, especially when the U.S. Army lawyers and MPs try to confiscate Bud's ranch to expand a top-secret rocket-testing facility at nearby White Sands Proving Ground.

 

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Contents

The Panther Piss King Goes West
The Rainy Day Southern Oregon Blues
Dead Soldiers Sow Bugs and Garter Snakes
A Journey of a Thousand Miles Always Begins with Some Kid Throwing Up
Life on a Kettle Wrench
Starvin Marvin Crazy Deeter and the Meanest Dang Cheekn in the World
Gold on Ladrón and Brimstone in the Barn
The World According to Marvin
The Meeting of the Moos
The Miracle at the Ranger
Two Wraps and a Hooey
Even Cowboys Get the Scairts
Two Knives Anna Fork
When Army Lawyers Are Outlawed Only Outlaws Will Need Army Lawyers
Whos the Damn Fool in the Outhouse with a Shotgun?
Epilogue

Little Green Men in the Malpais

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About the author (2012)

An award-winning photographer and writer, Buddy Mays is the author of eight previous books. A native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, he now lives in Bend, Oregon.

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