|Pastures in the Otztal by Albin Egger-Lienz|
On a high plateau, a full-on butte in the open prairies meeting with the seemingly infinite sands of the painted desert. Upon the head of the butte I am rock marooned with a close friend, an older lady, maybe my stepmother. There are three children with us, two are dark-skinned, the other a whole lot paler. The pale-skinned child has two horns. She runs like a heated ram from within the center of the butte which is quaintly fitted with a bustling steam of desert dust kicked up into the frighteningly high altitude air by a pen of bison and bull. My stepmother takes one of the more complacent, darker skinned children up into her arms and edges against the end of the butte. The vertigo takes hold of the wide midwestern tip of the desert land on this near-impossible butte formation's unlikely vertical stretch towards the Earth's atmosphere. Suddenly, she finds a humongous cylindrical metal pole bending slightly from just under the butte edge to the floor of the desert in the rest of the butte-filled horizon. There is some leftover rope nearby on the ground of the butte, remnants of the misplaced material culture of ranching. I follow my stepmother who steps off the edge of the butte, sliding downwards, she with two of the children. I have tamed the half bull, half child enough to wrap her in my arms for the descent, my stomach in my chest.