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Paul Marchant

Paul Marchant is an active rancher who tells stories as though we're all "sittin' horseback and ridin' drag" together. His Irons in the Fire articles both entertain and spur thought about personal values and goals.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

—Robert Frost

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Colleen is my neighbor. She and her husband, Rick, live on a little 9- or 10-acre piece about 5 miles down the road from my place. Colleen rescues things.

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As if from the staccato blast of a Gatling gun, I felt three sharp, painful smacks to my head just under my hat and directly behind my right ear. Except for the occasional Red Ryder BB gunfight with my cousins when I was a kid and the time my back was peppered by some shotgun pellets from an idiot pheasant hunter as I was fixing a fence, I’ve never really been shot.

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I was up on the mountain checking fences and water troughs before we moved the cows from one unit to the next.

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Sometimes I’m a walking cliché. I tend to leap before I look, try to run before I walk, step over a dollar to pick up a dime, put the cart before the horse, count the chickens before they’re hatched … Well, you get the idea.

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6:43 a.m.
He cracks the bedroom door open, just an inch or two, and hears her discussing with the 2-year-old the civil rights of the roan horse and the heeler dog, and why they have to sleep outside.

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