I never knew how much courage a person can have in a desperate situation. I consider myself to be mildly courageous and abundantly cautious; I rarely go out of my comfort-zone, but when placed in a desperate situation, anything can happen. Naturally, I am not bold, daring, fearless or courageous; I tend to avoid intense situations whenever I can, but I have the capacity to stand up for a greater good and not only to defend my moral view of what is right, but to save a person in need. At the time when I was visiting my family in Tucson, Arizona, the situation that forced me to stand up began near my uncle’s ranch.

This ranch isn’t enormous in size, it wasn’t excellent nor poor it was fair. I had been taught how to ride juvenile horses before, I wasn’t very good, but mediocre compared to my cousin the “cowboy” Arnold, “How’s the dust taste back there!? ” my cousin would typically shout when we would race and he’d taken the lead. During my visit, we raced about a mile away from the ranch, there; we could race freely in the wide-open desert. I remember passing by a giant boulder about the size of a small compact car, when a dark figure caught my eye. I looked closer and it appeared to be an animal.

I called my cousin over, “Okay you won, and look I think there’s a wolf over here! ” I screamed. As I approached, cautiously, I noticed the animal wasn’t a wolf it was a dog; a fairly large dog with a brown coat. It was very gruesome; it reeked of rotting flesh and blood. “Poor dog” I thought. Its face had been violently smashed and disfigured. “Oh my god Elvis! ” my cousin yelled as he came towards me and the dead dog. “What happened? ” he asked, “Is this uncle’s dog? ” I replied, “You don’t recognize him Jibrahn? ””Not how he is right now look at him. I turned Elvis on his side and I showed Arnold its disfigured face. This is how it all began; I knew that after finding Elvis’s corpse thrown in the desert I needed to bring Elvis’s murderer to justice. I now knew without reasonable doubt, that someone had killed Elvis and hid his body in the desert. When I found the corpse it was clumsily hidden. It was placed right aside the giant boulder and was partially covered with some dry weeds. This of course didn’t hide the dog but it made it stand out in the desert, anyone passing by would have noticed it.

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With this in mind I concluded: someone killed Elvis, they killed him today because I last saw him alive this morning, whoever did this isn’t very intelligent and rather simple-minded, and whoever killed Elvis did it violently with instilled hatred (I assumed this because of the nature of Elvis’s death, the smashed and disfigured face). My uncle’s ranch is not situated among many people, it’s in the desert, and the nearest neighbors we have are miles away, this meant that whoever did this was a member of our family.

At this point, I could narrow down my list of possible culprits. I had listed them in an order of greater suspicion to less. The first person on my list was my older cousin Javier, and then my older cousin Yesenia, after her, my younger cousin Abraham, and finally my cousin Arnold. So the reader may understand why I suspected Javier the most, allow me to describe him accurately. Javier is 17 years old, on the path to being an alcoholic, loves and enjoys hunting, he has gotten into more fights than Mike Tyson, and plans to join the military when he is 18.

Needless to say, he is a very violent person. It would only make sense for me to suspect him. In spite of the pain it would cause my uncle, I knew I had to deliver the news. I came into the house screaming for my uncle, “Uncle! Look I found Elvis in the desert! ” The fury of a demon possessed my uncle; I no longer knew him. I remember his glare; it was a glare that you would give to an enemy a villain, but that glare soon became a look of sadness and torture. The poor old man shed tears as I handed Elvis over to him.

I thought it was strange, he was deeply attached to this dog; he loved Elvis I guess this meant that Elvis was more than a dog, he was a friend a member of the family or at least through my uncle’s eyes. He began to curse violently and went outside shouting Javier’s name. Somehow my uncle thought or knew that Javier had killed Elvis. My older cousin, Yesenia, gasped as she came into the living room from her room. “What happened? Did he get run over? ” she asked, “No I found him in the desert, someone hid his body” “Oh my god! I saw Javier walking Elvis this morning! ” she exclaimed.

At this point I had a pretty good idea of how things would turn out. Javier was out drinking with his friends and would probably come back to the ranch around midnight. I knew my uncle would kick him out and force him to live with my aunt in Phoenix and thus, the Javier problem would be resolved, or at least I thought. Thereafter, it was well over midnight, I was still awake and I could hear a truck park into the ranch. I heard a lot of laughing and yelling, it was Javier and his friends. He had returned from one of his haunts about town. Then I heard the truck leave the ranch.

My uncle’s room was next to the one I was sleeping in. I heard that door open and then living room door open. I was nervous, I anticipated there to be a big argument and indeed there was, but to my surprise the argument escalated quickly, it went from yelling to cursing and then silence. I was extremely worried. I put on my shoes and ran outside. What I saw next amazed me. My uncle and Javier were exchanging blows to the chest and face. I ran inside the house to call Arnold and wake him up to help me separate my uncle and Javier. “Arnold get up, get up! Javier and uncle are fighting! ” “Huh what? ” Arnold replied.

I ran outside and went towards the chicken coop where my uncle and Javier were brawling but by the time I took 5 steps, Javier had out boxed my uncle, as might be expected, I remember seeing the finishing blow to my uncle’s chin as he was knocked down unconscious, he hit the floor like a board. Seeing this atrocity, I had little time to act and even less time to think. Out of rage and frustration, I charged at Javier, not knowing I was in way over my head, I threw my first punch, a right hook. With ease, Javier ducked, gave me a stinging hook to the stomach, and grasped my throat before throwing me, like a ragged doll, into a cactus.

I landed on my backside and the spines were minor pain compared to the blow I took to the stomach. Here and now I finally stepped into reality, realizing I could not win a fight against Javier but that my uncle needed help. Javier, still drunk, began to approach me as I began to think, “Is he going to kill me? ” I thought. Javier came closer; I couldn’t wait and find out what Javier would or wouldn’t do, so I had two choices: run away like a cowardly selfish loser, or stay and fight like a courageous righteous hero. Javier was within a few feet away from me when I turned around and dashed out of the ranch.

I didn’t hesitate to run. Just before I ran, I remember looking over to my uncle as he lay on motionless on the floor bleeding from his mouth. This image couldn’t leave my mind as I was running away. I was well within 4 yards away from the ranch when I stopped and I reassessed the situation, “Javier is capable of killing, he proved this when he destroyed Elvis, he is capable of hurting his own father, there is no telling what he’ll do to my other cousins” I said to myself. With this in mind I headed back to the ranch I planned to get the phone and call authorities.

As I came around the corner and stepped foot on the ranch, I saw my cousin Arnold had taken initiative and had Javier in a choke. Javier’s face turned beet red as Arnold put all his strength into the choke. I was sure Arnold was intent on killing Javier but as unexpected as before, Javier bit Arnold’s arm and broke free from the choke and laid a boxing glove hook to Arnold’s face. Javier then began to stomp on my cousin. I had enough heart as to go save my cousin from this ordeal. This was my opportunity; as Javier stood over my cousin I got ahold of my baseball bat lying around the floor.

I sneaked behind Javier and gave a crippling blow to his right knee. I remember hearing a “crackle” much like when you bite into a celery stick. Javier collapsed like a stack of cards. Not feeling any sympathy or remorse for this delinquent, I smashed his legs some more before he began to cry and sob like a child, but he soon implored me to show mercy. I sighed in relief; Javier had been subdued. The aftermath, involved the police, our parents, and a medical ambulance; but to summarize no one was seriously injured except Javier who needed surgery.

In short, my heroic actions that day saved my cousins’ lives and my uncle’s. I stood up and I proved that you can have courage, face your fears in a time of great difficulty, endure pain, and save another if you have enough heart to stand up for what is right. A great ancient Greek author, Thucydides, once quoted, “The bravest are those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. ” Whether it’s fighting a psychopath, or uncovering the truth of an evil deed, my heroic actions that day saved the lives of two of my dearest family members.


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