Study Text


A cowboy gets off a bus in the middle of a small town. He’s wearing spurs and leather chaps, his hat tipped forward to shield his gaze from the brightness of the midday sun. There’s a middle-aged woman in the front garden of a house nearby, a girl of around twelve trussed-up, lying on the ground at her feet. The child squirms violently, struggling to loosen the cords. She’s trying to say something, but she’s been gagged. ‘This is my daughter,’ the woman says to the cowboy. ‘You can take her with you if you want.’ The cowboy looks at the woman for a while, then at the girl. ‘Is there someplace like a saloon around here?’ he says.

Study questions:

1. What has happened to the cowboy’s horse?
2. Is the cowboy thirsty?
3. What kind of mother offers to give her twelve-year-old daughter to a total stranger?
4. Is the woman acting on a wing and a prayer?




Simon Collings
Art from the Estate of Mike Lesser

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One Response to Study Text

    1. […] have a short prose piece in this week’s International Times – Study Text. It’s a parody of the overly literal approach many student guides take to literary texts. […]

      Pingback by Study text | Simon Collings on 26 September, 2020 at 10:54 am

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