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Hank the Cowdog

Wallace and Junior the Buzzards

Wallace and Junior like a nice dead meal as much as the next buzzard. So this father-and-son team tend to appear when things aren't going so well for our hero. But Hank manages to stay friendly with the pair, and even lends a helping paw from time to time. In the following excerpt, Wallace dives head-first into the windshield of Slim's pickup and gets more than his feathers ruffled.

"While Slim was cleaning up the glass and feathers, Junior spiraled down from the sky and landed in the pasture beside his old man. 'Oh P-p-pa, s-s-s-speak to me, speak to me!...'

Wallace was lying on his back, with his wings throwed out to the sides and his feet sticking up in the air. He lifted his head and blinked his eyes.

'Are you the gatekeeper of this place?'

'Uh...g-g-gate k-k-keeper?'

'This here's Buzzard Heaven and I want in, even if I have to pay.'

'N-n-no, this a-a-ain't B-b-buzzard H-heaven, P-p-pa.'

'What! It ain't...in that case, mister, I ain't going in, and you ain't got horses enough to drag me!....'

Now, let me say right here that I'd never had much use for Old Man Wallace. He and I had run into each other on several occasions and he'd always struck me as a loud, overbearing, self-centered, unfriendly old buzzard.

But Junior was a different kind of bird. For one thing, he liked to sing, and anybody who likes to sing can't be entirely bad, even if he happens to be a buzzard. Junior had always treated me fair and square, and even though I didn't approve 100 percent of his profession and eating habits, I couldn't help liking him."

(From: Hank the Cowdog #13: The Wounded Buzzard on Christmas Eve
Illustration by Gerald L. Holmes from Hank the Cowdog #13: The Wounded Buzzard on Christmas Eve)

HANK THE COWDOG® is a registered trademark of John R. Erickson
© John R. Erickson; Illustrations by Gerald L. Holmes
©Puffin Books & Viking Children's Books, divisions of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers