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Overshadowed by the death of his brother, Tony is about to encounter the western way of life when his parents move from the East Coast to Wyoming. Starting in a new school as a sixth grader isn’t easy when your controlling mother is fearful of everything. Tony likes his new teacher, Mr. Brunswick, but Regina, the class bully, does her best to makes his life difficult. Jed, the son of a rancher, befriends Tony and helps him adjust to his new environment. Life becomes more complicated when his grandmother dies and a series of unpredictable events causes his father to question his ability to take care of himself and be responsible. In the end, Tony is tested when a tornado rips through his neighborhood.
Read an Excerpt
“Let’s head over to the stock tank and water the horses,” Jed said.
Tony and Jed dismounted and let the horses drink. Tony thought he heard a chattering sound coming from a large clump of sagebrush near the tank.
“What’s making that sound?” Tony said. He stepped over to get a closer look.
“Don’t move, Tony! Rattler!”
Tony sucked in a big breath and froze as Jed picked up a shovel resting by the side of the tank.
His friend moved quickly toward the clump and raised the shovel high into the air. Then, with all his might, he brought the shovel down on the snake, slicing its head off. The snake’s head fell to the side, still opening and closing its mouth. There was hardly any blood, but the body began violently flopping all around. Tony jumped farther away from the writhing serpent.
“Why is it still moving? I thought you killed it.”
“I did, but a rattlesnake’s metabolism is very slow. Its organs don’t die as fast, so they can keep moving.” Jed placed the shovel back next to the tank.
“One time, I heard a snake head bit somebody ninety minutes after it was decapitated.”
Tony shivered. “That’s gross.” He grimaced and exhaled like a balloon deflating. “You just saved my life!”
Jed shrugged. “Not really, you weren’t close enough to get bitten.”
Tony stared at the snake and back to Jed. “But…”
Tony felt himself shaking and breathing fast.
“You all right?” Jed asked.
About the Author:
Wyoming’s State Poet Laureate, known by many children as the “teacher who dances on his desk,“ Gene Gagliano is a retired elementary school teacher with a great sense of humor, who lives with his wife Carol at the base of the Bighorn Mountains in Buffalo, Wyoming. Gene is the author of: C is for Cowboy, a Wyoming Alphabet; Four Wheels West, a Wyoming Number Book; V is for Venus Flytrap, a Plant Alphabet; My Teacher Dances on the Desk; Little Wyoming; The Magic Box; Angel’s Landing; Booger, Dee and the Mammoth, and Is It True? A collection of humorous poetry. His newest book is a middle grade fiction book titled Wedge of Fear. He enjoys making his educational, entertaining and inspirational school visits, as well as presenting for adults at conferences and library functions. Gene’s hobbies include hiking, canoeing, singing, reading, painting, and gardening.
To learn more about the author go to Gene’s website and to his Facebook page.
Wedge of Fear is available on Amazon.com: http://a.co/d/gY2VS8O
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