DAN "DOC" WILSON
About Dan "Doc" Wilson
Bringing in the Christmas Tree
When the sage is white with winter frost
It’s a certain sign my friend,
That Christmas Day is comin’ soon
And it’s just around the bend.
If the women folk are gath‘rin’ ‘round
For a Christmas quiltin’ bee,
It’s time to cut the jawin,’ folks,
And go out and cut a tree.
So I gathered up my saddle bags
And my boots from off the floor;
I grabbed my coat, jammed on my hat
And I headed for the door.
I saw snow upon the mountain side
And the pines along the ridge.
The crick was frozen over hard,
With some ice upon the bridge.
And the dusty trails of summertime
Where we hauled the new mown hay,
Were frozen hard as cobblestone
With the winter on its way.
I just knew those ruts from wagon wheels
‘Bout the worst I’d ever seen,
Were bound to make the ridin’ rough
And a prickly horse turn mean.
But I shrugged away that pesky thought
And ignored the winter’s chills,
And thought of huntin’ Christmas trees
Way up yonder in the hills.
So at dawn behind the old corral
‘Neath a sky grown dark and gray,
I saddled up ol’ Turpentine
While I thought of Christmas day.
Now a rightly minded buckaroo,
Well, he surely oughter know,
He’d never get ol’ Turpentine
To ride out in all that snow.
‘Cuz ol’ Turp’s a mighty orn’ry cus,
Loves that cozy barn fer sure.
They say he’s got a sour streak
Tho’ his heart is golden pure.
I ignored my nat’ral common sense
And I cinched ol’ Turp up tight,
I mounted up and off we went
At the mornin’s early light.
Then we set out on the frosty trail
And we crossed the icy bridge,
Rode high into the snowy pines
All along Coyote Ridge.
Well, I searched the hills and draws around
Just to see what I could see,
While lookin’ for that perfect shape
That would make a Christmas tree.
Then I saw off on a distant ridge
As the flakes came floatin’ down,
A big green fir with droopin’ boughs
And new snow upon its crown.
So, I settled back all pleased as punch
And I reached to get my axe
While thinkin’ I could cut that tree
With a few good solid whacks.
And then all at once ol’ Turp declared
That he’d fin’ly had his fill
Of ridin’ ‘cross that snowy ridge
And a-shiv’rin’ from the chill.
Well, he took one look and surely knew,
‘Cuz he seemed to have that knack,
He shook his head as if to say,
“Ain’t no tree goes on my back!”
Way up high he leaped, a buckin’ hard,
And he tossed me in the snow!
Then lit a shuck back down the trail
With so many miles to go.
Yep, he left me there afoot and sore,
All those snow filled trails to roam,
With just an axe and ridin’ boots
And a far, far piece from home.
Well, I hobbled on for miles and miles
Over snowy hills and plains,
While cursin’ with each painful step
That ol’ paint with mud for brains.
And I swore that when I got back home
I’d give that ol’ cus my fill
For leavin’ me to stumble on
Up and down each snowy hill.
Then at last as eve’ning twilight fell
Oh, I thought revenge was mine,
Until I reached that cozy barn
And I spied ol’ Turpentine.
Of course there he stood all warm and sweet
While he rolled he eyes at me,
As if to say, “just cut the gab
And go out and buy a tree!”
© 2014, Dan Wilson
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Find Dan Wilson's
Turpentine and the Tobiano
in Art Spur
About Dan "Doc" Wilson:
Dan “Doc” Wilson is a singer, songwriter, cowboy poet, performer, retired educator, and a long-time resident of Scottsdale, Arizona. He has sung and played in various groups since his high school years, including folk, jazz and western music. He is a long-time barbershop harmony enthusiast, and has written award winning songs and vocal arrangements for both competing quartets and choruses. He enjoys writing lyrics, cowboy poetry and western history. He is currently playing bass and singing with the Phoenix-based western music group, Cimarron.
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