More than a hundred years ago, in the Wild West, a child was born. That child was named Pecos Bill.
Now when Pecos Bill was still a baby, his parents were moving from one ranch to another. Bill was sound asleep in the back of their covered wagon when the wagon hit a bump. The bump bumped poor Bill out of the wagon and onto the hard desert ground. But Bill's parents had no idea that their baby was missing and kept on riding.
Luckily, a family of coyotes found the boy and raised him as their own pup. By day, Pecos Bill learned to live on his own in the hot desert. Each night, after a long day of hunting, Bill and his coyote family howled at the moon.
Once Pecos Bill had grown to be a man, he left his coyote family behind and went to live with people once again. Living the life of a cowboy, Pecos Bill had many, many adventures, some of which I'm about to tell you.
Pecos Bill's first great adventure was the time when he rode Widow-Maker. Widow-Maker was a horse, but not just any horse. You see, Widow-Maker was the roughest, toughest, meanest, strongest horse any cowboy had ever ridden -- or tried to ride, anyway. Nobody had been able to stay on Widow-Maker. He was just too ornery.
Whenever a cowboy got up the gumption to climb onto Widow-Maker's back, that big black stallion would buck and kick and thrash. He would snort and stomp and toss his head. And pretty soon, he would toss that poor cowboy right out of the saddle and onto the dry, dusty desert dirt.
Nope, no cowboy ever had what it took to ride old Widow-Maker. No cowboy, that is, except for Pecos Bill.
One day Bill had watched Widow-Maker toss one cowboy after another onto the dirt and decided that he'd seen enough.
"Why don't I show you boys how it's done?" he asked, tightening his belt and jingling his spurs.
So Pecos Bill climbed onto Widow-Maker's back and the rest of the cowboys held their breath, waiting for Widow-Maker to toss Bill just as he had tossed all the rest.
Widow-Maker bucked and kicked and thrashed. He snorted and stomped and tossed his head. That horse tried every trick he knew to toss this cowboy off his back. But Pecos Bill wasn't tossed anywhere. Hanging on tight, Bill waited until Widow-Maker was all tired out. That crazy horse had met his match -- and now he had a new master.
Read about more of Pecos Bill's adventures on the next page.