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P.J.:

When the bay colt with the morning hump in his back stopped bucking Danny off in the mornings, he named him P. J.

He slid his eyes around to the boss when he announced the colt’s name at the breakfast table and the other hands knew his tongue in cheek humor enough to wait until they were at the barn, saddling up in the chill dawn, before they asked what the letters stood for.

Danny made a big show of keeping it quiet, saying he didn’t want to be sacrilegious or nothin’, and the button on the crew popped up to say wait he thought that was B. J. not P. J.

This drew guffaws from the older hands, and a red face for the boy.

The cow boss of this outfit was pretty religious, always using incidents on the ranch as object lessons to preach the gospel and save the heathens under his watchful eye.

They all rode out with big bubbles of laughter swelling their chests when they heard Danny whisper “Praise Jesus” under his breath when the bay colt didn’t blow up on his way out of the barn lot.

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