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Deleau, Manitoba
About Babs Hamilton




Jimmy's Pot ... Gone!

An ol' cowpoke friend of mine spun me quite the tale
As we warmed by the blazin' fire one cold night
'bout a compadre with, a weird adoration
For a stainless steel pot with a shine right down bright.

'Ere story starts out on a dusty prairie trail
Where a posse gets together to ride the plain
They'd be ride'n hard all day, mak'in camp at night
Even with the dark skies offer'in up cold wet rain.

Now with this gang was this here feller' named Jimmy
Rightly made his self known as quite the old trail cook
He'd silence the hunger of them weary riders
His long muzzle stick'n in a recipe book!

He'd whip up them vittles 'fore you could say "muggin'"
Bull rider pie, special ribs or a bowl of red
Armed with his dipper he'd be standin' by the pit
Just a matter of keepin' them hungry folks fed.

He loved to show off his "mobile cupboard" of sorts
All the while explain'n how he packed up his gear
On the back of his old horse, poor gray quarter mare
Her cannons gettin' shorter with each comin' year.

Friends be wonderin', commentin' 'bout that shiny kit
And he'd be redden up like an innocent boy
He'd then take from the saddle, tied up at the back
With a beamin smile, he'd show them his pride and joy.

To a regular fellar, nothin' so' special
This 'ere big old rounded two handled pot of gray
But to this Jimmy bloke it was very unique
He wouldn't, couldn't part with it, there was no way!

His old cookin' tub had seen its fair share of time
Had held many a cowboy's "flavoursome delight"
From soups and stews to proverbial spuds and mais
It'd stir up mouth-waterin' meals with a might.

Old Jimmy outfitted his mare to her limit
With every ingredient and every tool
That favoured old pot of blinding steel that he loved
Was none the less tied to his mother's ancient mule.

There it'd be hangin' at the back of the riggin'
Like a trophy, proudly displayed for all to see
And ol' Jimmy along with his weighed down gray mare
Kept an eye on his treasure tied to that there dee.

What happened then next, no one rightly knows for sure
Whether the sun caught that pot causin' it to glare
In the eyes of that there horse ridden alongside thing they knew, the pot was high in the air.

Jimmy's expression was of horror as he watched
That pot took wings and flew straight up in ta the sky
Was it still one piece? Was there any damage done?
Poor frettin' Jimmy looked like he was 'bout to cry!

It hovered a moment, as if caught by the rays
It shimmered; it gleamed... then started its long decent
And there it then lay, amidst the dust of the trail
Sure thing wasn't hard to notice that dent.

Faster than a headin' horse he picked up his pot
He stroked and embraced it; there were tears in his eyes
That poor old gray vessel now branded by a hoof
No more did resemble its former shape or size.

With a mumble, a mutter, he took his prized pot
Struggled to work it into his tightly wrapped pack
With it be'in that it was much smaller in size
There was room for that pot of Jimmy's at the back.

Well the rest of the trip went uneventful and
The pot was retired for the rest of the ride
'Til Jimmy could work it back into a round shape
Without that there big hoof print showin' on the side.

Once they broke camp and prepared to load up the trucks
Amidst the chatter you could hear ol' Jimmy say
How happy he was 'cause it could have been much worse
And with that he got ready to git on his way.

As he started backin' the truck to load his gear
He thought "hmmm... what to make for that evenin' meal"
That pack that held his shiny yet dented old pot
Well, it went right on under that dually's back wheel!

Yup...she was flatter than a pancake on the griddle!

2008, Babs Hamilton
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Babs comments: "Jimmy's Pot...Gone" was inspired by a dear friend of mine Gladys Marsh. Gladys is a real cowgirl and now does a lot of terrific trail rides. On one of these trail rides, she described the eventful day when one of the trail cooks had an incident involving a much beloved pot of his. I thought the story so funny and could envision it over and over much so that I thought a poem would be a wonderful way to share this story with others.



  About Babs Hamilton:

I was born in Germany and immigrated to Canada at the young age of four. We lived in the big city of Vancouver, British Columbia, and the closest I got to anything resembling the western way of life was when my father took me to the Exhibitions to watch the horses. Since riding my first pony at the park, I was consumed by anything related to horses. After a move to
a somewhat smaller city that was surrounded by ranches and farms, I dreamt of riding the sagebrush hills as the cowboys had done in the past and dearly wished for a horse of my own. But that dream was not in the near future. I would have to wait 44 years to taste "the cowboy lifestyle."

I started writing early and really enjoyed rhyming poetry. My parents supported me wholeheartedly and loved to read anything that I wrote. Along with poetry, I also enjoyed writing short stories on events that happened around me and just wrote for the pure joy of reading my poems/stories as they were written in my scrapbooks.

After 25 year of traveling from post to post with the military as both a member of the Canadian Forces and then as the spouse of a serving member, fulfilling that dream and satisfying that longing to live the west finally came about. At the ripe young age of 40 I bought my first horse which was soon followed by another. Our little acreage did not resemble the vast ranches we would have liked to own but it was good that time.

In 2004 we were posted to Canadian Forces Base Shilo, Manitoba and managed to acquire a quarter section of land. It was all hay and pasture surrounded by three quarter acres of woodland but it suited our needs and the needs of our horses. We were surrounded by large farms and ranches and slowly integrated into the cowboy lifestyle.

While working full time at the military base, we play at being ranchers and our little "ranch" holds a variety of animals that we are able to care for including five horses, two donkeys, numerous dogs and cats and an alpaca. While the integration into ranch life is slow because of other commitments and our jobs, playing at the part of being a cowgirl is something that not only makes me happy but opens up so many windows of opportunity to meet and enjoy the company of the real cowboys and

It was during one of those times that I happened to listen to something that was new to me...cowboy poetry. I was enthralled and immediately hooked and began the long journey to becoming a cowboy poet. This was and still is a tough road as I am only a "cowgirl wanna be." I don't fully understand the lifestyle these folks lead but the more I read and the more I listen, the more this mystery unfolds before me. I have never looked back! I am exactly where I want to my little piece
of heaven.



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