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Wolf Point, Montana
About John E. Taylor




A Day in the Life of Two Young Herders

In nineteen forty three—that's way back when
Sis was thirteen and I was only ten.
We were herding cows on the Poplar River
Our dad drove up in the old black flivver.
It was a Graham Brothers—that's before the Dodge
It was all wired together—a real hodge podge.

He brought us warm green tea and some rabbit stew
that's when he reminded us of all we had to do.
Cut out those strays—put them over the hill
chase off the wild horses—that was a thrill.
Dad and his brother on the cows were halves
Cut the bulls and mark all the calves.

BAR C L And A Bar X
commercial cows no mater the sex.
From Stone Man Hill to Castle Rock
we rode all day herding the stock.
Often at mid ay we sat on the highest hill
watched the hawks and eagles and hear the meadowlark trill.

We would ride for home in the late afternoon
not riding fast so not to get there too soon
trying to get to the barn by days last sun
knowing by then— brother bill would have the milking done.

Unsaddle the horse and curry them till soft
then oats and hay out of the loft.
Mother would call out—supper is on.
Eat up fast and stiffle a yawn
Now hit the bed- so tired and worn
knowing we had to do it again in the morn.

© 2007, John E. Taylor
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


Jack told us: When I was a boy of ten and my sister was thirteen we did what is described in my poem. Every day we rode 5 miles to the range unit our Dad and four other neighbors had leased from the Fort Peck Indian Tribe, out of Poplar, Montana.

About John E. Taylor:

We grew up on a small horse and cattle ranch and we also raised small grain crops. I was born in 1933 in Wolf Point, Montana.





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