“Why are you a cowboy,” I asked the buckaroo.
“Cause my daddy was a cowboy
so it seemed the thing to do.”
“But the work seems awful boring. Does it pay well?” I inquired.
“Don’t do it for the money,
if I did, I’d soon be fired.
There’s no such thing as overtime
when calving comes around.
Snow days only mean more work
and all on frozen ground.
In summer it can be so hot
there’s sweat stains where you sat
and the only shade you come across
is right beneath your hat.”
“So, why are you a cowboy?” I asked him once again.
He said, “Just take a look around
and breathe in deep, my friend.
That’s the scent of freedom
and the look of liberty.
No hydrocarbons clouding up
the air so you can’t see
the West the way God made it;
clear streams and rolling plains,
snow capped peaks in summer,
the fresh smell when it rains.
There’s no clock watching worker bees
in multi-story mazes
who never look you in the eye
except for fit-full gazes.
The people serving breakfast
at the restaurant down in town
can talk to you in English
and they’re glad you came around.”
“So, that’s why you’re a cowboy. I finally understand.
It’s more than just a job to you, it’s really something grand.”
“Naw, it’s just a job,” he said.
“I work to keep my family fed.
That other stuff may sound real good
but it’s just hot air from Hollywood.”
That one really threw me so I turned and walked away
while he just stood there laughing. It really made his day
to tenderize a tenderfoot. It’s what some cowboy’s do
so folks who visit there won’t stay and clutter up their view.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 12/3/09