2011 Patrick D. Smith Award
“The trouble with panthers is they can’t change. With the whole world changin round it, old panther got no choice but to go on bein a panther. It can’t reason like you and me -- can’t decide to earn its livin a little differently.”
Central Florida, November 2004. Upon hearing this admonition from his dying grandfather, young cowman, Bodie Rawlerson, doesn’t hesitate to promise the old man that he won’t be like the panther. Though he hates change, fears it more than anything else, he vows to do whatever necessary to carry on the family legacy of raising cattle on the land he so dearly loves. But unbeknownst to Bodie, forces are already in motion to render his promise impossible to keep. Within days of his grandfather’s passing, these forces of human (and inhuman) nature will convince him that nothing lasts forever, that change is life’s only certainty -- that time and chance do indeed rule us all.