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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

Tanya Huntington is a writer and artist who resides in Mexico City. When she was a girl, her favorite pop was Welch's grape. When her family moved out East, Dr. Brown's Cream Soda (note the change to "soda"). When she left the country, it became a kind of refresco called Yoli. Follow her on Twitter @TanyaHuntington and Instagram @tanya_huntington or contact her directly at tanya.huntington@gmail.com

Black and white image of rider galloping on a horse, the horse exhaling and cloud of breath visible on the black background

TANYA HUNTINGTON

RUNAWAY

The Pocket, 1975

 

though she had been on the back of a horse many times before

now, she was never alone in the saddle, in fact there was

always some cousin in charge of the reins, oh, the cousins who

lived in the country, so enviable with their chores on the

ranch that involved animals and their 4-H awards at state

fairs and for lunch, pails of tin filled with treats that they carried to

school, these were cousins who knew how to ride from the time they were

born, who competed in rodeos casting lassoes on their calves or their

goats or else threading through poles, rounding barrels for ribbons and

long story short, that’s why this was the first time they let her be

up on a horse, not a pony, which meant that the ground was a

surface cast off far below as the grown-ups reminded her

that she should pull on the reins and say whoa but then Blaze, well he

happened to see that the gate of the pen was left open by

some knucklehead who was born in a barn, which is what they would

say when you left a gate open: you must have been born in a

barn, and the pasture was lush with tall grass and scotch thistles and

crocuses, probably harboring rattlers beyond in the

prairie dog dens, so then Blaze got the bit in his teeth and took

off at a trot, then a canter, and then a full gallop that

felt so much faster than riding in vehicles of any

kind because unlike the interstate view from her half of the

back seat, where dashes flowed by on black asphalt beyond, here on

horseback the ground became choppy, the vast, flat horizon of

Dakotan landscape, no longer packed solid and pockmarked with

gumbo, would both rise and fall like the waves of an ocean that

she’d never seen and she told the horse whoa but she flapped the reins

hard because some part of her wanted never to stop, to keep

running away

Header image Chagidiel, Getty Images Pro

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Dead Skunk Logo: round logo of a white skunk silhouette on a black background with the words “Dead Skunk” in cursive. “Dead” is neon purple and “Skunk” is neon yellow.

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