Ben has always dreamed of becoming a cowboy. But when his family moves from the West to New York City, they have to give up their ranch. Ben hates his new home: he can’t imagine staying in a place without wide plains or galloping horses. But one day, he learns that the city has its own kind of cowboys…
Featuring a new endnote about the real twentieth-century riders of New York, this adventurous story reveals how one boy’s dream helps him accept his new home.
It was 1910
when Ben and his parents
left their ranch in the West
and took the train
to New York City,
where they’d heard
the work and the pay were the best.
Papa got a job in the Hell’s Kitchen
section of New York,
working in a blacksmith shop.
Ben didn’t like Hell’s Kitchen.
He didn’t like the city smells
or the crowded sounds
or the brownstone tenement apartment.
The tough boys of the neighborhood
made fun of Ben’s western accent,
and they called him a sissy.
Some of the girls bullied him, too,
because Ben was so quiet.
Ben wished that he fit in.
He wished for a friend.
Ben missed his home,
and the great plains of the West.
He missed the bridges
and rivers and the grass prairies.
But most of all,
Ben missed the cowboys.
Ben dreamed of being a cowboy.
He wanted to wear chaps and hats,
bandanas and spurs.
He longed to ride high and gallant
on a galloping horse.
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