A droll if severely abbreviated cowboy tale—wordless and with a decidedly loopy climactic twist.
Depicted in flurries of straight, scratchy lines and scribbled colors in a sequence of full-page panels, the episode begins and ends with an escape. Hotly pursuing a coyote who has broken out of jail and galloped off atop what looks more like a hyena than a horse (none of the figures here are quite identifiable), a lawman with the head of a donkey (perhaps) catches up with his quarry in a rocky cul-de-sac. When a passing ladybug defuses the tense confrontation, the steely-eyed opponents lay down their guns and break out the stemware for a comfy fish dinner—after which the two flee together from a charging squad of cavalry (also mounted atop hyenas). That chase ends at the edge of a cliff, where, to the consternation of their pursuers, clouds of ladybugs suddenly rise to carry both fugitives away. For what it’s worth, sharp-eyed and repeat observers will note that the ladybug is a sort of outside observer who actually makes frequent appearances, from the front cover illustration on.
Silly, surreal fun: Deeper meanings, if any, are well-concealed, but who needs ’em? (Picture book. 6-8)