Other Folks' Cowboy Poetry

Folks' Poems

Back to Lariat Laureate Contest
Back on home
Back to the list of Folks' Poems

About Lynn M. Croke



   Honey Jo Dandy

            The old red mare is laid to rest.
             Her days of work are through.
            At thirty years she was best
             This cowgirl ever knew.
            I was a very lucky kid
             To have a mare like her.
            Words can't explain the kind of friends
             That she and I once were.

            She wasn't even two years old.
             Still too young to ride.
            I'd call her up and at the fence
             We'd stand there side by side.
            I could see by watching her
             That she was smart and kind,
            And wanting her so bad it hurt
             Was always on my mind.

            I hadn't met her owners yet
             And I could surely see
            The horses he was raising there
             Were far too rich for me.
            But then as I stood scratching her
             Beside the fence one day,
            The owner came out of the barn
             And headed straight my way.

            "She's for sale." He said to me.
             "I've got a price on her."
            My heart jumped right into my mouth
             At the next thing that I heard.
            I couldn't ask, but then he said,
             "One hundred-fifty dollars."
            My heart near stopped.
             I turned and ran
            And didn't even bother
             To say, "OK" or "I'll take her!"
            I raced right for the phone
             And called my dad
            And told him that red horse
             Has a new home.

            As I came to know the folks
             Who sold the mare to me,
            They said that she's from racing blood
             But she turned out to be
            A kick-back from foundation stock
             She's "Texas Dandy" bred,
            But she's a typie Quarter Horse
             For working cows instead.

            They may have gotten more for her
             By putting out an ad,
            But they could see by watching us
             The friendship that we had.
            To price her so I could afford
             To reach my dream they'd know
            That she'd be loved and well cared for,
             This filly "Honey Jo".

            We roamed around the "Great Southwest"
             And thrived on desert air.
            I met a man, he fell in love
             With me and with my mare.
            We married him, They formed a bond
             Almost as strong as ours.
            She became a cow horse and
             The work she did was hard.

            She earned her keep and taught our kids
             To ride and baby-sat them.
            She'd work a cow then settle down
             And loved to go brush poppin'.
            She worked real hard to be the horse
             The rider on her wanted.
            She'd climb a power pole to please.
             Her loyalty undaunted.
            She was a member of our family
             Nearly thirty years
            And when we had to put her down
             We drowned in our tears.
            Her grand-daughter will carry on
             The "Texas Dandy" name.
            The line goes on, but without her
             It'll never be the same.

                4/20/01, Lynn M. Croke

Lynn wrote: This is a poem I wrote about a mare I bought in college and loved for nearly thirty years.


About Lynn M. Croke:

I am currently a Special Education aide for 7th and 8th graders in Princeton, Texas. My husband Rusty and I have been married 30 years and we have a
daughter and 2 sons, 3 grandsons, 3 horses (Dandy's Poca Nina is Honey Jo's grandaughter), a donkey, 3 dogs and 1 cat. Texas is a grand state but this was the last stop for us following ranch jobs across the southwest.  Our hearts are on the Sonoran Desert.  My love of horses and the desert began at Knotts Berry Farm in Southern California.  I was born and raised in San Pedro, California (The L.A. Harbor) and my trips to the high desert with my family  and frequent trips to Knotts to ride the burros across the painted desert just set a fire in my soul for the "Western lifestyle."  I was fortunate to have a understanding mom and dad who loved campfire songs and
my daddy who loved Robert W. Service.  I can still recite several ballads by heart and this all has fanned that flame for the cowboy way.  The Sons of the Pioneers were who I listened to by the hour while my friends were rocking and rolling.  I have always loved poetry and I wrote words for songs and my girlfriend, who was awesome on the guitar, put them to music.  A true love of ranch life and 20 ears of hands-on ranch work have given me plenty of experiences to write about.