LYNN M. CROKE
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.