Stephen B. Smart
For the last thirty years I have lived my lifetime dream of riding and packing Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. I have enjoyed my Landscape business and hobby of cartooning, but there is nothing I would rather do than saddle up and ride the back country.
In 2003, I had a life-changing experience that led me to writing. Up until that time I had always been too busy building my business to give the serious time needed to write. Little did I know that taking a gentle seventeen hand mule out for a spring tune up would end up giving me that opportunity. On that beautiful spring day I saddled up my six year old mule Butch and headed out alone on a seldom used trail. I had meandered up the trail for less than ten minutes when the mule stopped and started to shake. My first thought was there was a snake in the trail, so I leaned around his large neck and checked the trail; there was nothing. A moment later the huge mule reared up and collapsed backwards. The last thing I saw was blue sky and large brown ears before the world went black as the saddle horn crushed my chest and together we began rolling down the hill. I awoke to a bloody body, damaged chest, and my foot lying on my lap in a very unnatural position. I had torn most of the ligaments in my chest and back, my leg was shattered and I could barely speak above a whisper. I knew enough to toss my leg back into a more natural position before I passed out again. The mule had died of a heart attack and, needless to say, I needed some serious surgery and recuperation time in bed. In hopes of making lemonade out of lemons, I used that time to come up with ideas for my first book, "Whispers of The Greybull".