San Antonio, Florida
About Curtis Temple
On The Top Rail
Now the two old men, down in the pen
Probably knew nothing about what they were talking
These were the thoughts of a boy
Tough yet frail, perched on the top rail
While observing the bull they were stalking
"That bulls not for you Mr. D" the boy stated
While the other old man just glared
"He don't mix well you see"
As that bulls head went to the ground and stared
Now the other bull in the pen wanted out and he wanted out bad
That stout ruffian with his head in the dirt
Was by the second growing mad
It happened fast as it usually does in these cases
The weaker sire ran over Mr. D looking for invisible hiding places
When the ruffian saw the fracas he knew opportunity was here
He also wallowed Mr. D as he moved through like a one ton deer
Now the frenzy was on as one old man tried to help another
And the boy on the rail surveying this mess was wishing for his brother
With the two of them caught in no man's land
Two fighting bulls so close they could touch with their hand
There was only one trail to take for sure
The boys feet were running as soon as they hit the sand
And in a flash old ruffians tail was in his little hand
Now the boy knew as soon as he left that rail, and grabbed that bulls tail
If he went to kicking, he most likely would end up in hell
But that aint the way it fell
The boy ran out of tail and went flying
Feet first as the old men were crying
"Are you crazy boy?," while all three scrambled for the fence
Now thank you's are hard to come by in the Florida swamp
And Mr. D didn't buy that bull
Although a fine animal he was and at that days price a steal
He told the other old man, "if i buy em"
"The boy would have to be part of the deal"
"That was a brave thing done you see, and when mended"
"I'll take you on a special hog hunt, just the dogs and you and me"
Well the boy was all teeth with a grin, and all respect for Mr. D was his
He'd never seen a man joke and laugh, with a full slab of broken ribs
And after farewells and handshakes and a rub of the boys head
That would have been thanks enough
But forever etched in solid gold is the thinnest line of a smile
And two fingers drumming on a shoulder
Across the bench seat of a brand new ' 66 Ford truck
Mr. D was a fine family friend, and the other old man was my father you see
And the shoulder under those two fingers, well
That belonged to me
© 2003, Curtis Temple
About Curtis Temple:
Florida rancher and citrus grower, hobbies include poetry and songwriting. We're proud of our cracker heritage and have lived that lifestyle for four generations.
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