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Folks' Poems

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Alberta, Canada
About Chris Riedmueller



I've Hat Me Some Schoolin

Well I've spent some time in school,
Universities and college,
And of books I've read my full,
Oh my libr'ry card's got mileage.

For all the things I've studied,
Been lectured of, n' written -
Politics, philosophy,
Computers and religion -

The most important lessons,
I think I thought I b'in through,
Didn't come from a per'fesser
But a cowboy and a lassoo.

Ya' see, horses teach ya' wisdom
That philosophers should foll'er,
While the trail gives ya' religion,
Makin' hist'ry seem much smaller;

And what the heck's an e-mail
When compared to Northern Lights?
Per'fessers teach'ya' "pass or fail,"
But cowboys'll teach ya' Life!

Lesson number one they taught me
On the trail to self-improvin':
"Boots stay on when camp is reached,
'Til yer' saddles' done removin'."

If you always take care of them,
What always take care of you,
You will never want for friends,
Or good horses to see you through.

The second bit of learnin'
That cowboys taught this creature:
"Tip yer hat to all the women
(Includin' Mother Nature)."

Ev'ry mother is a woman,
Sisters n'daughters, oh so dear.
The principle at work then?
"Respect that which you fear."

The third and final lesson,
Was the hardest one to teach,
A whipper-snappin' hellion,
Whose grasp still tailed his reach.

The rule is kind of ab-strack
So I'll try to tell ya' slow:
I learned it from an attack,
With the end of a lasso.

I had tried to grab the hat
Fixed upon this cowboy's head,
A cocky, stupid trick that,
So he roped me as I fled.

On the ground I lay winded,
All trussed up just like a calf,
Then the growling man descended
An' cussed me for bein' daft.

"Don't you ever, ever, EVER, paw
At the hat a man's a-wearin!"
I must admit it took a while,
To git why he was swearin.

Now, a hat is somethin' special,
An' takes a time from when its new
'Til it fits so you could wrassle
Bears an' not lose it when you do.

Ya' tip it to the ladies,
Fill it with water for yer horse;
It always keeps ya' shady,
And dry from rain, of course.

A hat's a kind of symbol,
Of the life I had to learn:
Good an' honest an' simple,
Not takin' what I'd not earned.

For all the things a hat does,
It's mighty personal too.
So not grabbin' it's the same as
Givin' the wearer his due.

I've learned a lot from reading books
While I spent my time in school,
But time with cowboys' what it took
To keep from bein' a fool.

2003, Chris Riedmueller
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


About Chris Riedmueller:

Chris Riedmueller is not a professional cowboy but a desk jockey from Alberta, Canada who wishes he were. This poem, like most in his cowboy repertoire, comes from childhood memories of actual events. The cowboy whose hat he was fool enough to grab is, himself, a cowboy poet of some renown, and it was his work that inspired Chris to try wordsmithing some of his own tall tales.



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