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November 29 , 2007

The Long Chance


It was sunrise on the Colorado desert. As the advance guard of dawn emerged from behind the serrated peaks to the east and paused on their snow-encrusted summits before charging down the slopes into the open desert to rout the lingering shadows of the night, a coyote came out of his den in the tumbled malpais at the foot of the range, pointed his nose skyward and voiced his matutinal salute to the Hosts of Light.Presently, far in the distant waste, seven dark objects detached themselves from the shadows and crawled toward the mountains. Like motes swimming in a beam of light, they came out of the Land of Nowhere, in the dim shimmering vistas over west, where the gray line of grease-wood met the blue of the horizon. Slowly they assumed definite shape; and the coyote ceased his orisons to speculate upon the ultimate possibility of breakfast and this motley trio of "desert rats" with their burro train, who dared invade his desolate waterless kingdom.

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