Old Billy Ray’s the quiet kind
of cowboy all year long.
He just sits back and listens
to the stories and the songs
the J bar H boys tell about
their lives out on the range.
But when it comes December,
the fellas see a change.
Old Billy Ray starts showing off
some whittling that he’s done.
Like hand carved wooden ponies,
a cow dog and a gun
designed for shooting rubber bands
that fly across the room.
And several little wooden flutes
he’s worked on since last June.
He sets them on the table
as the cowboys gather near
adding gifts they’ve been collecting
all throughout the year.
Their awkward fingers fumble,
as they wrap each tiny toy.
And make dern sure there’s something there
for every girl and boy
who’s family’s fallen on hard times.
The cowboys look outside.
The snow has past, it’s time at last
to saddle up and ride.
They ride all night ‘neath bright moonlight;
blue shadows on the trail.
O’re crusted snow these wranglers go,
then home to tell their tale
of leaving presents at each door
and the warmth they felt inside.
And how there wasn’t anything
that would keep them from this ride.
On a ridge top, by some Evergreens,
the weary wranglers pause
and pledge to do the same next year.
‘Cause it’s their Santa cause.
Jeff Hildebrandt © 2005