San Antonio, Texas
All in a Day's Work
With troubled eyes he searched the sky
As a blue northerner rolled in.
Days from the ranch and miles from his camp
He decided to just dig in.
Sixty head to control and one only months old
He untied and slipped on his slicker.
The rain started fallin' and the calf started bawlin'
And his heart began to beat quicker.
Then the thunder crashed and the lightin' flashed
And a limb from the tree came down.
It fell with a crash within feet of the calf
Who took off quickly covering ground.
But the river was swollen over it's banks it was rollin'
And the yearling was headed for trouble
Less than seconds were counted and the cowboy was mounted
And riding for the calf on the double.
With a whistle and yell he was riding like hell
Then he saw the calf hit the water
In a bright flash of lightnin' he saw she was fightin'
The powerful current that caught her
He had his loop swingin' his rope fairly singin'
Then he gave a powerful toss
His aim was true and as the loop flew
He climbed down off of his hoss
Running down to the bank he gave a quick yank
And he saw the calf pulled free
Then he snaked out some slack and the calf headed back
To the herd huddled under the tree
The calf found her mother and they checked one another
As the cowboy came riding back up
With a crooked half smile threw his tack in a pile
And waited for the storm to let up.
© 1999, Tom Parrish
This poem may not be reprinted or reposted without the author's written permission.
Tom told us: This particular poem was inspired by the old cowboy who taught me so much. He spent most of his life as a working cowboy and was especially good with horses. His horse was an amazing animal that he had taught to do some pretty good parlor tricks along with his working abilities. This old cowboy's name was Bob Wann and I don't even know if he is with us anymore. But his beliefs in how a cowboy should act and how he should be about his work is what gave me the idea behind this poem. While the story isn't an actual event that I heard about or witnessed it is, nevertheless, as true a tale in my heart as any other. I hope other folks enjoy it and I hope it portrays a little bit of a true cowboy's way of caring for the livestock in
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