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Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
About Ab Douglas Driediger




The Lost Sorrel

A weathered face with eagle eyes
A western shirt embroidered bright.
Well-worn jeans, scuffed cowboy boots
That gave him added height.

He lived beyond the edge of town;
Pioneers' Lodge was home.
It's where he bunked at nightfall
But during day was free to roam.

He liked the warm winds from the hills,
The smell of sun-drenched sage.
He walked the fields of chaparral
His sprightly step belied his age.

It was the land he knew so well ;
He'd come at twenty-five.
Sixty years, a wife and son
The only one still alive.

His clear blue eyes horizons scanned,
His gnarled brown hand their visor.
A far off stray prolonged his gaze,
A nearby rock his riser.

I asked him what he's looking for.
My horse, my horse he slowly said.
Seven goin' on eight--
Sorrel, four white socks, a red.

Missing long, I asked him then
Las' night jus' after nine.
Can't be far, I reassured,
She'll show up and be just fine.

Hate to lose that horse y'know,
Got her when I's but twenty-three.
Best dang mare that ever was
Need her for the round up at Double D.

The worried look stayed on his face
As we turned for home in sorrow.
That's alright he quietly said,
I'll have another look tomorrow.

2005, Ab Douglas Driediger
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.

Ab told us:  Some years ago I came across an elderly gentleman on a back road not far from our ranch. He turned out to be a retired rancher from the Cypress Hills area (they straddle the Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana borders). He was a resident of a seniors' home near Maple Creek and in talking to him I realized he was a bit confused and, although long retired, his old ranching life was still obviously very much a part of his imaginary life. I often thought of the old man and over the years jotted down a few thoughts now and then. Eventually they evolved into a poem.

About Ab Douglas Driediger:

I was raised on a ranch on the Canadian prairies and I guess you could say practically born on a horse.

After college I, like many farm boys, was drawn to the bright lights of the city and world adventure.
I went into broadcast journalism, co-anchored the Canadian National Television News with the late Peter Jennings for two years and subsequently often ran into Peter at various world hot spots; he on assignment for ABC, I for CBC.

As much as I enjoyed the correspondent life, ranching stayed in my blood so when I took early retirement my oldest son and I took over and expanded the family ranch near the Cypress Hills in Saskatchewan. It was to be another 15 wonderful years living and working on the edge of the the historic Cypress Hills ranching country only a few miles from the place where Sitting Bull took shelter from the U.S. Cavalry after the battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana.

I often think of all those fine, down-to-earth ranching families I knew during those days (not to mention my Arabians and Appaloosas.)  Occasionally,those memories break free in the form of poems. For better or worse I take full responsibility for their content.

Ab Douglas Driediger (people just call me Ab Douglas)



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