2012 Totem Head Story Contest Winner:"There's a Cowboy in My Bedroom" By Isabelle, 12 years old, IL.
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2012 Contest Winner

There's a Cowboy in My Bedroom
Written By:   Isabelle, 12 years old, IL.

"So there I was, attacking the bandits, me, a lone cowboy with nothing but a six-shooter and his horse. . ." I said dramatically, my hand sweeping the air in a flourish.


"It was almost too late but. . ."


"What, mom?" I stopped my playacting and turned around.

Mom sighed. "You and your acting. Don’t you ever take a break?"

"Not now. I was just about to defeat the bandits!"

"And I need you to clean your room," mom stated emphatically.

"Now?" I groaned.

"Yes now. I’m coming to check on you in fifteen minutes," said mom and she walked away.

Ah well. As soon as the coast was clear I picked up my old pillowcase and swung it into the laundry basket. "As I was saying," I began. "It was almost too late but. . ."

Suddenly, a strange wind began to blow. My curtains flew open, and everything became topsy-turvy. . .


An explosion of gray smoke and fog filled the air and I fell onto my knees, coughing up dust. As the smoke started to clear I heard a voice. "Howdy!"

Huh? "Who’s there?" I asked, slowly getting up.

"It’s me, Tex Winslow, the best cowboy in all the west."

I strained my eyes into the mist, searching, searching. . .

"I’m right here boy!" something touched my arm.

"Ahhhhhhhhhh!" I heard someone scream and I jumped clear into the air. By the time I landed I realized it was me.

"Yeesh, calm down boy. Children are so sensitive these days," a tall, lean stranger peered down at me. "As I said, I’m Tex Winslow. And you are?" Tex held out his hand.

"Jonathan," I said shaking it tentatively.

"Pleased to make your acquaintance. Say, ‘ya got any Bear Sign on ‘ya hands?"

"Bear Sign?" I asked. "Could you speak English, please?"

"I am!" said Tex. "’Ya know, Bear Sign. Donuts?"

"Oh," I said. "Yeah, I’ll go get some." I ran downstairs and grabbed some of mom’s homemade donuts. Luckily for me, mom decided to go to the store so she couldn’t stop me.

"Mmm, thanks," said Tex, munching hungrily. "I ain’t had nothin’ but stale biscuits and cold coffee for who knows how long. Your mother sure did a bang-up job making these."

"You’re welcome," I said. "Hey, while you’re eating, why don’t you tell me how you got here in the first place."

"Alrighty," said Tex, wiping the crumbs from his mouth with his bandanna. I chose not to look pay attention to the mess he had made on the carpet. "There’s not much to tell, but here’s it in a nutshell. I was running from some rustlers when I got lost in a tunnel. Next thing I know, there’s a lot of fog and BOOM I’m here. The End!"

"So descriptive," I said dryly.

Tex shrugged. "What can I say? I’m a cowboy, not a writer."

Suddenly he froze. "Oh no," he said.

"What? What?" I asked, frantic.

"I forgot. Bambino the Rustler and his gang have my horses. I have to go back before it’s too late!" Tex was in a panic. "Bambino is a regular curly wolf. No telling what he’ll do after this!" Tex turned to me. "Jonathan! Find a way to take me back!"

"Um," I stuttered. "Well, you see, I really don’t think. . . I can."

"What?" Tex cried. He clutched his hat. "My horses! My job! My life!"

Oh, yippee. He was really hyperventilating now.

"Look, Tex," I said desperately. "Just calm down, ‘kay? I’ll find a way. . ."

Suddenly, a strange wind began to blow. My curtains flew open, and everything became topsy-turvy. . .


An explosion of gray smoke and fog filled the air. As I covered my face and ducked for cover, I thought I could hear someone yelling in the distance, "G’bye Jonathan! Yeeha!"

And then everything was still. The smoke cleared and I got up. There was no Tex Winslow to be found. The only thing that remained was his blue bandanna. I looked out the window and whispered, "Goodbye Tex. It was nice meeting you. Hope you catch Billy Bambino soon."


Huh? I turned around. Mom was standing in the doorway, arms crossed. "Jonathan, can I ask you why you’re talking to yourself when I told you to clean your room? And why are there crumbs on the floor?" she asked.

"Oh that," I said. "Um, it’s a long story."

"I have time," mom said.

"Well then," I said, grinning. I picked up the bandanna from the floor and tied it around my neck. I whirled a shirt around my head and let out a yell that could be heard across the neighborhood. And somewhere, over the horizon another voice joined with mine.


Link to Free Writing Contest for Kids

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