Micah's Jewel
My husband, Henry, loves cowboy movies on TV, so throughout our 28 years of marriage, I’ve seen every cowboy movie
made, at least once, more often than not, a zillion times. And even though I know western movies seldom bear much
resemblance to real cowboy life, how could I not admit actors like John Wayne popularizes the cowboy ideal or Gene Autry
promotes the “cowboy code” of honorable behavior, respect, and patriotism? And how can I not smile at the romantic
cowboy lifestyle of cowboys-on-the-screen-but-married-in-real-life Roy Rogers and Dale Evans?

Because of TV, I know many states in the US, such as Texas, Montana, California, to name a few, is cowboy country. My
first trip to the great state of Texas and its city, Fort Worth, back in 1998 gave me the opportunity to see, firsthand, the
famous cowboys in their western gear. And I fell in love. <insert sigh> (Don’t worry. Henry was with me.)

Being Canadian, I’m proud to say I know in the prairie province of Alberta, where cattle outnumber people, the cattle
industry is extremely important, and the city of Calgary earned its nickname, “Cowtown” because it’s the center of the
Canadian cattle industry, and in 1912, the Calgary Stampede began and is, today, the world’s richest cash rodeo, and the
capital of Alberta, Edmonton, stages the Canadian Finals Rodeo. Moreover, I know southwestern Saskatchewan, the
province beside Alberta, is also considered cowboy country in Canada, but to a lesser extent. And I got to wondering…do we
have any cowboys in my native Ontario? Imagine my surprise when I discovered…yes! Yee-haw!

So…I got to wondering again… What if the story is situated in Ontario, but on a cattle farm? And what if the hero is a
citified politician with zero knowledge of cattle ranching and is banished to said farm? And what if the heroine is a hometown
girl who looks sensational in jeans, boots and a cowboy hat and comes equipped with a three-foot cowgirl? And what if the
politician and hometown girl have nothing in common? Except their undeniable attraction and the three-foot cowgirl?

Hmm. I think my muse is riding a reliable stock horse, lariat in hand, giving the story a good chase. I have a feeling, though,
despite the dust kicked up from the horse’s hooves, the rope will be thrown to catch Micah and Sierra in its quickly tightened
loop. What will we have when the dust settles in the rural community of Willow Creek?