Zach Toad on Red Image copyZach-Picture12-Rev1-SampleZach-Picture13-Sample

That’s when Backer slid off the rider’s hat,

onto Last Ride Red’s great big back!

That startled the man holding the gate.

He tried to close it but was too late.


Last Ride Red came charging out,

the crowd saw Backer and began to shout:

“That toad’s in trouble! Everyone look out!”


Backer knew he had to hang on tight,

so he grabbed the bull’s hair with all his might.

He knew for certain if he was thrown down,

he’d soon be stomped into the ground.


Last Ride Red was having a fit.

He ran through a fence, shattering it.

The bull jumped and leapt and even hopped.

He kept it up and never stopped.


His anger turned to a mighty rage

as he raced around that dusty stage.

But no matter how high and hard he bucked,

that brave little toad never gave up.


Red’s hooves pounded all over the dirt.

Backer’s bones and muscles really hurt.

The bull even tried leaping so high

his horns seemed to scrape the sky.


He jerked back and forth so quickly

Backer started feeling a little sickly.

Red romped and pounded and even snorted,

but little Backer was never thwarted.


After an hour of stomping all around,

Last Ride Red gave up and lay down.

Everyone jumped to their feet and cheered.

The bull hadn’t done what they all feared.


Instead of the toad being stomped in the ground,

Backer rode the bull all the way down.

Zach ran out and picked Backer up,

then a man gave them a buckle and trophy cup.


He yelled, “Congratulations, son!

Your brave little toad has really won!

No one’s ever done

what he’s done.

The best bull rider is right here.

Backer’s our Rodeo Champ this year!”


The next day the news was full

of how Backer the toad rode the great big bull.

The rodeo retired Last Ride Red.

He’s a happy bull and very well fed.

He gets to eat grass and hay all day

and stay in a field full of cows and play.


His pasture’s now longer and wider.

And though Backer was Last Ride Red’s last rider,

Zach and Backer were Red’s first friends

and this is how my story ends.


Illustration and excerpt from Zach and the Toad Who Rode a Bull

(c) Copyright 2015 Russ Towne All Rights Reserved

Written by Russ Towne

Illustrated by Christine Cartwright


With Love,



About russtowne

My wife and I have been married since 1979. We have 3 adult children and 4 young grandsons. I manage a wealth management firm I founded in 2003. My Beloved is a Special Education teacher for Kindergartners and First Graders. I'm a published author of 23 books in a variety of genres for grownups and children. In addition to my family, friends, investing, and writing, my passions include reading, watching classic movies, experiencing waves crashing on rocky shores, hiking in ancient redwood forests, and enjoying our small redwood grove and fern garden.
This entry was posted in Animals, books, children, children's books, Children's Books I Wrote, children's stories, Illustrations, Poetry I Wrote, Self-Publishing Books, stories, Story Poems, Zach and the Toad Who Rode a Bull and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to

  1. utesmile says:

    Lovely story, and looking great!

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