Thursday 12/16/10

Here’s a winter poem I sent out as our Christmas email. So those of you who have seen it can carry on. If not, enjoy.

I hope!

Read it aloud and imagine an old cowboy talkin’.

Deer Hay

One year I had went pert’ ‘neer broke
Way up north of the medicine line
So I was lookin’ for work of the cowboy type
Just bummin’ and still doin’ fine

I kept ridin’ north, a lookin’ for a job
Followin’ up on a real good lead
Country started changin’ in looks as I rode
I’s travelin’ slow not makin’ much speed

I broke out of the timber and onto the tundra
I was way and the hell gone, up north
Started lookin’ at my hole card pretty darn hard
‘Cuz it was right at July the fourth

Finally one day, I stumbles on to this outfit
By golly, it sure was queer
They was puttin’ up lots of hay with teams
But them teams was all made from deer

Really not the kind of deer we know
Not a whitetail or muley in the bunch
The crew was all just litte bitty fellers
I started to get me a hunch

I rode up ‘longside of one of the crew
Kinder looked to be the boss
He whoa’d up his team to jaw with me some
Bein’ polite, I steps off ol’ Hoss

“You must be lookin’ for work”, he sez
I admitted that I dang sure was
“Have you ever drove a team, a puttin’ up hay?”
I nodded, like a feller’ always does

But I had to admit I’d never drove deer
He laughed when I told him that
“Not many have,” with a twinkle in his eye
Mopped the sweat off under his hat

“Well, we could use you, if you want to give ‘er a try”
I thought to myself, what the hell?
Didn’t look much different than the horse teams I’d drove
Figured I’d try it out for a spell

He pointed me north where the buildings all set
Said the crew would be in after awhile
Couple miles later, I rode into the place
What I seen sure made me smile

Them corrals were sure built plenty stout
And damn sure built plenty high
All the buildings and pens was set like they should
It was laid out by a dang sharp guy

I soon found me a bunk and settled right in
Tho’ that bed was a little on the short side
We BS’d around the table after supper purty late
Couple fellers worked on some rawhide

Next mornin’ when we ate it was long past light
That sure seemed kinder queer
I figures, what the hell it will make the day shorter
Heads out to harness my deer

They fit me out with a dandy team of bucks
But them collars was a chore to put on
They had way too big a hatrack to slip them over
Boys said they was named Dee and Don

The harness was different than I had used before
It hooked up a little bit odd
But I gets it all rigged like the others have done
I notice them bucks ain’t shod

The boss starts me out on the scatter rack
Pilin’ up little bunches of hay
That the sweeps had lost on the way to the stacks
It sure was a beautiful day

My team seemed to have lots of git up and go
Sure wanted to keep your lines tight
I noticed the others were raisin’ the dust
So I figures it must be alright

Things was just goin’ along plumb great
Team worked just like a Swiss watch
But before ol’ cookie brought dinner out to us
I had to tighten my belt up a notch

That was the longest mornin’ I ever worked before
Must’a lasted eight hours or more!
Afternoon was just as long if not longer
I was asleep ‘fore my boots hit the floor

Every day the work went on just like that
Seemed we worked more than twenty hours a day
I ain’t one to whine or to shirk my tasks
But I was gettin’ sick of puttin’ up hay!

A good hand won’t quit in the middle of a job
So I hung in ‘till the work was all done
I swear I ain’t never worked such long, long days
Even them teams slowed down from a run

Yeah, we ran them teams each and every day
Didn’t even switch ‘em out at noon
They went so fast you’d swear they could fly
By the end they had changed their tune

When I went to the boss to draw my wages
It was the most money I’d ever made
He asked if I wanted to stay on for fall works
But I decided I’d better just fade

‘Cuz an outfit that puts up that much feed
Might have plans to feed it all out
And if that’s the kind’a winters they had up there
I was headin’ where it runs more to drought

I lit out a’makin’ them wide apart tracks
Back south ‘til I seen a cactus branch
But every winter I remember the summer I worked
for the Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick ranch.

Robert Dennis 11/2010

6 thoughts on “Thursday 12/16/10

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