Bull Riding: Man Against Beast

Chris JohnsonContributor IIAugust 3, 2009

SIDNEY, IA - JULY 31: Bull rider Cody Whitney of Asher, OK rides a pink painted bull at the Sidney Championship Rodeo on July 31, 2009 in Sidney, Iowa. The bull was painted pink to bring awareness to cancer during the evening dubbed, 'tough guys wear pink.' Celebrating its 75th year, the rodeo attracts over 35,000 visitors over the course of the five day event. (Photo by David Greedy/Getty Images)

Dust rose over the arena that morning as the beast prowled a crowded pen. Three men in painted faces gathered in the center of the ring, as dust sifted through the air.

Slowly a crowd developed from out of the distance, stammering to find a seat. The battle of between man and beast would soon begin, and they were prepared to be witnesses.

Men poked and prodded the beast to enter a confined space in front of them. The racket was deafening.

Beast bellowed their disagreement of such treatment. But the disagreement fell on deaf ears. Soon these beast would have their chance at revenge against the bipeds.

Behind the corals came a lone man. This was a man of uncommon abilities. He walked with determination for his purpose was clear.

Over his shoulder he carried a single strand of rope with a bell attached. Today would test this man against the ferocious beast he had encountered so many times before.

As the announcer echoed the contest amongst the crowd, other determined men gathered behind the corral preparing themselves for the upcoming contest.

Men of determination, pride, athletic abilities, and battle-hardened attitudes. This day's events would determine their competitive nature.

One by one, a single man would climb atop a beast. Strap his hand to the back of the beast. Nod his head and the gate would open.

Then pure pandemonium would soon let loose. The beast striving to rid itself of this strange biped attached by a single strand of rope.

The beast would leave the ground, perform twists, turns, belly rolls, anything to rid itself of the strange biped on top of them. Power such as no one has seen before, erupted from the beast. 

The only thing to save these men from crippling torture was the three men with painted faces. Most of the crowd felt these men with painted faces were there for comedy.

But the bipeds on top of the beast knew they were their best friends, striving to alleviate potential dismemberment.

Finally, our lone man strode to the beast he would compete against. He looked the beast in the eye and spoke slowly. His words could not be heard by others.

Then the announcer announced the impending battle.  The crowd hushed with anticipation. This battle would be more of an event than all had seen prior.

The lone man placed the single strand of rope around the beast and climbed the stairs to sit atop the beast. That single strand of rope was pulled tight with his hand underneath. Taking a breath, the lone man nodded his head.

With a blast of force, the beast took to the air. Twisting, turning, trusting and retreating, the beast strove to elevate the biped on its back.

As the seconds ticked away, the beast performed feats of extraordinary athletic moves attempting to rid itself of what was attached to him.

As a buzzer sounded across the arena, the lone man loosened the rope and jumped to the ground. The beast turned to face the lone man, with only a painted-faced man between them.

The lone man rose to his feet and bowed to the beast. The beast ducked his head and rose his head with pride. The three men with painted faces took a breath.

Then the crowd roared with appreciation. Our lone man turned toward the crowd and tipped his hat, as the beast headed toward the corral.