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KERRI LEE WYATT
Kamiah, Idaho
About Kerri Lee Wyatt

 

 

Stumblin' Annie

This here is a little story,
'bout a sweet old broomtail nag...
Who's feet were big as hub caps...
On her back there hung a sag.

Her name was "Stumblin' Annie"...
It was a name that she had earned,
while workin' on a pack string...
'Twas amazin' what she had learned.

After many a year of workin',
the ol hay burner had put it together...
Headed out to work she'd drag her feet...
Homeward bound you'd be pullin' leather.

From the moment you'd pack her up...
Jist as soon as she left the gates...
She'd hem 'n haw and plow the earth...
Didn't have hooves, she had lead weights.

It 'twasn't cause she wasn't able...
She was fit and strong as an ox.
It 'twas cause she didn't want to.
Half lazy... Half smart as a fox.

Now my pa had gotten keen,
to this old wise mares tricks.
Just who she was and what she did...
It wasn't somethin' that you could fix.

Every hunting season he'd pack her...
Into the hills out back, over yonder.
They'd spent many a year upon that trail...
Gave pa plenty of time to ponder.

See my pa he was an outfitter...
One of the best in these here hills.
He got paid to do what he loved most,
which was hunt, and it paid the bills.

Folks would come from far and wide...
Spending money hand over fist...
For a chance at a majestic wapiti...
An opportunity most of em missed.

See most of these here fancy fellers,
tweren't as smart as one mighta thunk.
They'd spend their time in them thar woods,
in their tent playin' cards and gettin' drunk.

Yippp... These fancy city fellers,
they always came packin' whiskey...
Which made Pa none too happy...
Fore mixin' guns with hooch is risky.

Well nows when it comes together...
Heres how ol Annie got her name...
How she became a legend,
and how she gained her fame.

Dad knew dang well she'd stumble...
Sure as a dog will scratch at fleas.
Her feet would drag, she'd lollygag,
and she'd end up on her knees.

Now ol Pa he got to thinkin'...
Bout the booze and this old hack.
Planned a solution for his problem...
He'd put the whiskey in Annie's pack.

So once agin here came these fellers,
bringin' cases of their snake potion.
Pa smirked real big as he packed it up,
and then he set his plan in motion.

Dad rigged Annie up with panniers,
with no lids, they were wide open.
Set the glass bottles in there loosely,
and went lightly on the ropin'.

Pa took the lead, as they headed out,
and behind him he drug ol Annie.
She tripped and stumbled out the gate,
to the ground on her big fanny.

Them city fellers looked on in fear,
with eyes as big as a silver dollar...
Every time a bottle would break,
they'd gasp and then they'd hollar.

They trudged along at a pretty good clip,
with them bottles goin' clankity clink.
By the time they reached their drop camp,
'twas barely nough left there to drink.

So my ornery Pa found him a solution...
To how he'd haul all that liquor.
Dad and Annie them two became partners...
One grinned like a possum, the other she nicker.

Now this here went on for many a year,
they became a legend in their time...
The best durn outfitter in the whole northwest,
with his stumblin' horse, his partner in crime.

2003, Kerri Lee Wyatt
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without permission.


About Kerri Lee Wyatt:

I'm just a spirited old mountain gal with a passion for writing poems. Born to one of the best dad gummed outfitters to ever grace these hills... raised on the banks of Idaho's pristine Selway River. Through the years I've tumbled my way across the west, but no matter where I kicked off my boots... my heart always remained in Idaho.

The attic of my mind is stuffed full of fond memories of my time spent as an outfitter's daughter, and vivid images of the colorful and sometimes slightly less than cooperative livestock. My poem "Stumblin' Annie," is one I wrote to commemorate one of the more colorful characters, a fat ol' palomino mare who refused to earn her oats. With due respect... there are many others just as colorful who deserve to be immortalized... but somebody had to go first.

My life has lead me full circle now... from dude guiding, bustin' ponies, to working as a camp cook in my fathers hunting camps. From that wonderful Selway pack station, to the jungles of Californy... But... I am proud to say that I found my way back home to Idaho, and I now reside on a beautiful mountaintop just outside of Kamiah. Tucked safely betwixted the pines and wild critters,  I am as happy as a tick on a fat dogs behind. I'm a small time cattle rancher, a big game huntress, and writin' poetry warms my innards and that's good enough for me.

 

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