In the legends of the American West, Pecos Bill was a larger-than-life cowboy known for his amazing exploits. Created by journalists in the late 1800s, Pecos Bill was supposed to have been born in Texas and raised by coyotes after his parents lost him while crossing the Pecos River.
While still a child, Bill grew to be much bigger than most men. He wrestled and rode mountain lions, used rattlesnakes as lassos, and fought grizzly bears with his bare hands. When he was about ten, he discovered that he was a human and not a coyote. He decided to live among people and become a cowboy. He invented the rope lasso and six-shooter and gained a reputation for killing bad guys. However, he never harmed women or children.
Eventually Pecos Bill started ranching. After his cows ate all the grass in Texas, he moved to New Mexico, where he dug the Rio Grande to get water for his cattle. While living in New Mexico, Bill had a horse called Widow-maker that only he could ride. He invented fence posts, ten-gallon hats, and the bucking bronco.
One day a tornado appeared on the horizon. When the twister approached, Bill jumped on it and rode it like a bucking bronco. In an effort to shake Bill, the tornado rained so hard that it carved out the Grand Canyon. Bill finally fell off in California, hitting the ground with such force that he formed Death Valley
One day when he was getting on in years, Pecos Bill was walking down the street in Laredo, Texas. He saw a man from Boston wearing a fancy cowboy suit and asking stupid questions about the West. Bill took one look at the man, lay down on the sidewalk, and laughed until he died. Another story, however, says that he died after eating a meal of barbed wire washed down with nitroglycerin. In any event, that was the end of Pecos Bill.
See also Heroes; Modern Mythology.