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Northwest Oklahoma
Marvin Carnagey



Boy With a "Pie-Eatin'" Grin

Been working on the corral today;
Yesterday hauled a load of hay.
Fixin'up the weanin' pen
To wean this year's calf crop in.
A young stranger cam ridin' by,
Riding a Blue roan--sure caught my eye.

That Blue was the prettiest horse I ever seen.
He just looked like a cowboy's dream
With a pencil neck and four black feet,
A big stout muscle that ran down his seat.

He was a perfect horse in every way.
If I could trade for him, it would make my day.
We said "Howdy" in a western way.
Then I said, "I sure like your Blue."
He said, "Thanks, Mister. I like him too."

That boy was young, his eyes were blue.
He looked real honest when he looked at you.
I think he's too young to lie, too young to sin,
But he was givin' me a "Pie eatin'" grin.

He asked if him and Blue could get a drink.
I said, "Sure, the mill's pumpin', the tank's full.
You and Blue drink 'til your bellys are full."

I looked at Blue and he looked at me.
I think that horse is gettin' ahold of me.
I said, "Young fellow, is there anyway you'd trade?"
He said, "What have you got?"
I said, "That sorrel mare over there in the shade."

He looked at me with those clear blue eyes,
I tnink he's too young to lie, too young to sin,
But he was givin' me that "Pie eatin' grin.

I said, "Is Blue gentle?"
He said, "Gentle as can be--
Anyway he's never bucked with me."
Then he asked about my mare.
I said, "She's gentle.
My kids ride her everywhere."

He said, "I hate to trade Old Blue,
But I'm out of chewing tobacco and groceries, too.
I've got a job up at old Cheyenne,
Need some money to get there and finish my plans."

I said, "I'll trade and give some to boot."
He said, "Make an offer, go ahead and shoot."
I said, "I'll give a hundred." He said, "Can't go.,
You know that Blue would take any show."

I peeled off another fifty and handed it to him.
Then he gave me that "Pie eatin'" grin.
He saddled Old Sorrel, started ridin' away.
He grinned and said, "it's been a good day."

I felt bad in my stomach, just didn't feel right.
Could I been taken by that young fellow so bright?
I turned around to get Old Blue,
I wanted to feed him and ride him too.

Old Blue had broke loose and gone,
Left me a piece of rope about two-feet long,
Throwed up his head and tail as I chased Old Blue.
He showed me what he could do.

I phoned my good roping friend
To come catch Old Blue and bring him in.
He stepped up on his good thoroughbred,
Shook out a loop, "I'll get him," he said.

Old Blue left him so far behind
He never got a chance to throw his twine.
He finally hazed him into the weanin' pen.
I thanked him and he drove away.
I says, "I'll ride him before the end of day."

I throwed on my saddle, he humped up like a cat.
I reached up and pulled down my old hat.
I cinched him up, he swelled up like a toad,
Grunted like he was under some kind of a load.

I grabbed the cheek of the bridle,
Swingin' up in the seat.
He seemed to explode, came off on all four feet.
Off went my hat, lost my glasses, too.
He pulled the reins through my hands, burnt too.
I landed with a thud when I hit the ground,
Sounded like I weighed about three hundred pounds.

He came back around, buckin' by.
Those stirrups were poppin' there in the sky.
I closed my eyes to the sight of him.
All I could see was that boy
With the pie-eatin' grin!

I kept him about a week 'til horse sale day.
I'd fed the son of a gun about ten bales of hay.
I had a young fellow to ride him in.
Found out he wouldn't buck in a real small pen.

He could turn on a dime, dig a hole in the ground.
No better cutter could ever be found.
Bidding got hot, "I'll give eight."
I'll give a thousand." "Open the gate."

Now I felt better, I started to grin.
I got a pretty good deal from that kid--
Too young to lie, too young to sin.
Now, I'm wearin' the "Pie eatin'" grin!

1991, Marvin Carnagey--The Cowchip Poet 
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.


About Marvin Carnagey:

Marvin Carnagey comes to us through the always generous efforts of Lariat Laureate runner up Barbara Bockleman.  Barbara told us  "Recently I indicated that I would get permission from my friend and co-cowboy poet Marvin Carnagey to send one of his poems. He does not have a computer so I have offered to do this for him and he consented. Marvin is in in mid-eighties and still is active on his small ranch. He lives in NW Oklahoma near the Slapout Community where I live. We've performed at a number of cowboy poetry gatherings including The Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City and the Cowboy Symposium, Lubbock, Texas.

Elsewhere on the web, there is a short bio, a photo, and two of Marvin Carnagey poems here  




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