Buddy wanted to be a Cowboy, one that rode a horse, not herd cows by foot. When the neighboring rancher, Caleb Hyman, told the boy he would be hired once he could lasso prairie dogs, Buddy worked and practiced for years to be able to catch one.
The day he finally roped one of the quick rodents, two of his older brother's friends watched from the road and ridiculed Buddy, calling him a prairie dog cowboy.
Facing the hard life of homesteading in the late 1890s and early 1900s, Buddy didn't have an easy life, made worse by a mother who didn't love him or accept him. However, with the help of the Hymans, he developed into a strong, decent person who struggled to find his place in his world.