The cowboys at the rodeo treated him the same way as his family and friends. It was the confidence of Willow that urged him on.Elgin suited up with the help of two young bull riders. There was more to the process than Elgin expected. As the brace was taped to his arm, the excitement grew. He felt so alive. He wished he did this years ago. The monotony of his life as a researcher needed the balance of wild adventure. This would change his life. The tears in Willow’s eyes only proved it. The ring was filled with excited rodeo fans. Elgin was led to a stall stuffed with an enraged bull. “What’s it’s name?” said Elgin. “Widowmaker,” said the official. “We wouldn’t ‘ve put you on him ‘cept your lady friend said you’re so experienced. “Experienced?” said Elgin as he rested on the back of Widowmaker. The bull bucked angrily under his weight. “Sure. She said you’d done this since you’s a young feller,” said the official. Elgin looked to Willow, who was in the stands nearby. “Pain and shame, Elgin,” she said. “Ready,” shouted the official. “Ready?” “Go!” The gate opened and the bull leaped into the ring. It rocked Elgin back, planted his front legs and lurched him forward. At the same time the bull lifted his head smash Elgin’s face on his boney skull. Elgin felt the crunch before everything went black.
The next thing he knew, Elgin was in a hospital room drinking from a straw. A doctor entered. He smiled at Elgin reassuringly and said, “It sounds like you had a life changing experience. Don’t worry, we’ll fit you for teeth once the bones in your face heal.”