“I need a horse, but I’m short on cash. What can I get for $25?” the cowboy asks the owner.
“Well, for fifteen I can give you ‘ol Bill. He’s seen a few years but he’s still a fast horse” replies the owner.
“Why so cheap then?”
“Well, he ain’t so good at listening. You see, he gets his Whoas and Giddy-ups mixed-up.”
“You’re kidding? Well, I don’t have much choice. Here’s $15, friend.”
After he’d payed for the horse the owner went out to the stable to get Bill. When he came back, the cowboy could see that Bill was indeed old, but had very strong legs. After preparing the saddle, the cowboy hopped on Bill.
“Alright, Bill. Giddy-up!”
Bill would not move, not a twitch from his ears.
“C’mon Bill! Giddy-up!” he clicked, kicking the horse with his spurs.
Bill wouldn’t budge. Not a swish from his tail. Remembering what the owner had said, the cowboy adjusted his reins and called…
Bill’s ears perked, and he flew out of the barn like a bat out of hell. Horse and rider were outside the town in seconds, with a huge dust cloud trailing behind them. Off they went, flying over the Arizona hills. The cowboy could barely hold on to his reins; his feet flailing out behind the stirrups.
Over the next hill the cowboy could see that Bill was running them straight towards the edge of the Grand Canyon. He pulled back on the reins.
“Whoa, Bill! Whoa!” he cried.
Bill kept running. The edge of the precipice coming closer.
“Whoa, Bill! Stop, damn it!”
He suddenly recalled what the owner had said about Bill’s mixed-up directions. Taking a deep breath the cowboy closed his eyes and shouted “Giddy-up, Bill!”
Bill came to an abruptly fast stop, just one horse-step away from certain death. The cowboy nearly vaulted over Bill into the vast gorge. Bill panted with exhaustion while the cowboy wiped his brow with his kerchief. From atop Bill, he looked down into the canyon at the dry riverbed far below.
“Whoa, Bill. That was close”
Fortunately, Bill was a horse and knew better than to run off a cliff, and so the cowboy’s ill-considered use of the word woah in this context had no negative repercussions.