Christmas at the BAR-D Ranch  2001

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Happy holidays folks!



'Twas just days before Christmas
And down at the ranch,
All the creatures were restless,
Even birds on the branch.
I in my slicker 
And Pa in his cap,
Didn't have any time 
For even a nap.

For all knew that soon
From up in the sky
Would come crazy Jake
His arrival was nigh.
He flies in every year
Without any reason,
Says he wants to be with us
Through each Christmas season.

He has his own plane
And don't need a reindeer.
He lands in a pasture
That we must keep clear.
Now we all remember
The first time he came,
Without any warning
His excuse rather lame.

Couldn't find a pay phone
Out here in the sticks,
So thought he'd surprise us
Just like old St. Nick.
But who was surprised more
Old Jake or me?
When he attempted to land
Between cottonwood trees?

He'd not been here for years
And things tend to grow.
Now thirty foot trees
Stood all in a row.
The look on his face
Was some sight to see.
He pulled up just in time
But took the tops off two trees.

In a circle he flew,
A wild look in his eye.
Determined to land and
Get out of the sky.
This time from the north
In a nice gentle glide
Toward some short eaten grass
Where nothing could hide.

Now old Jake was raised
On a ranch where it's warm.
He just didn't know
Cow pies could do harm.
All of us who grew up
In the land where it snows,
Will avoid those cow patties
Whenever they're froze.

Jake put that plane down
Just as nice as could be.
Then hit a hard lump
Doing seventy three.
That plane must have bounced
Ten feet in the air.
We could see that old Jake
Had got quite a scare.

I must give him credit
For keeping his head.
I know  if he hadn't
He would have been dead.
He brought the plane down
This time checking for lumps,
But where he landed next
Was too close to the pump.

Now even in December
That spot just won't freeze.
The mud there comes up
About to your knees.
Jakes wheels hit that mud,
It slowed him right down
And started the plane
A spinnin' around.

One wing was tipped down
The other went up.
Two wheels were stuck tight
In that black gooey muck.
It appeared poor old Jake
Didn't know what to think
When he stepped out of the plane
And started to sink.

With two old catch ropes
And a good heavy chain,
We pulled out crazy Jake
Along with his plane.
The rest of his visit
Was really quite quiet.
He was planning his flight out
And soon had to try it

For take off this time
Things would have to be right.
Jakes old heart couldn't take
Another strong fright.
So we took the hay rake
To the pies in the field,
And picked up all the lumps
The hard ground would yield.

Jake started the plane
And things went just fine.
All the patties were piled
To the side in a line.
We heard him exclaim
As he flew through the skies,
"I'll be back next Christmas
Just clear the cow pies!"

1998, Sherri Ross


Read more poetry from Sherri Ross here at the BAR-D.

Sherri Ross -- see the whole photo below

Featured in "The Big Roundup," an anthology of the best of


Happy holidays folks!


Having a Heeler Christmas

There's a lot to be said about havin' a dog,
a companion loyal and true.
But if that dog's a heeler your mind's slipped a cog,
hope this poem gives you a clue.
Only certain types of people should own heelers,
it helps if your a little daft.
Cause they're smart as a whip or dumb as a rock,
and masters at the cow chasin' craft.
But to live with one is quite tricky,
it takes a stout heart and warped mind.
cause they'll chew anything, they're not picky,
they'll gnaw on whatever they find.
They can eat a pair of shoes in 8 hours,
So while sugar plums dance in your head.
You'll  wake up to nothin' but laces,
neatly tied in bows under the bed.
They'll take gophers away from the barn cats,
and swallow them down just as neat.
Then jauntily gallop into the house,
and puke them right up at your feet.
They'll harass an old cow into a lather,
the one in the herd that's real tough.
Then run under your rig and hide like a wuss,
while the cow takes it out on your truck.
Since this poem is to be about Christmas,
I guess there is still some to tell.
About one dumb heeler named Cooper,
and another red merle named Mel.
The tree was trimmed oh so neatly,
with decorations and lights ever bright.
The problem; the heelers were in the house,
sleeping; we were out like a light.
It's to bad we didn't have a camcorder,
set up in secret somewhere.
Cause we'll never know just what happened,
only the dogs were there.
The living room looked like it had been,
under siege from the Celts off the Moors.
There wasn't a light left on the tree,
Christmas bulbs littered the floor.
The light string that use to be on the tree,
was now tied in a square knot.
Around the couch, under the piano,
and right round a Philodendron pot.
A half hitch over the cook stove,
a Bowlin' under the hutch.
Chewed near thru in 24 places,
they sure didn't leave us with much.
But now when we start to feel the spirit,
of Christmas coming on, it's a lark.
We just tie Ol' Coop up in the front yard,
cause since then he's always glowed in the dark.

Barb Brown 

Read more about Barb Brown here at the BAR-D.

Happy holidays folks!


When Pigs Fly
 (A Christmas poem)

Twas Christmas day night,
when out by the tack shed.
A ruckus was raised,
that would wake up the dead!

Though  stripped to my long johns,
getting ready to nap.
I streaked out the front door,
with just my long johns and my cap.

The light from the sparks,
of a dangling transformer.
Showed damage sustained,
to my east bedroom dormer.

I observed in a flash,
before the scene had been reached.
That the roof of my new barn,
had seriously been breached.

Though I'm reluctant to admit it,
my first onsite suspicion.
Space Shuttle debris.
from a burner out space mission?

When what to my bloodshot eyes,
showed itself.
Muy Muerto Reindeerus,
and a soiled old elf.

He'd hung up on a rafter,
still strapped in his sleigh.
I undid his seat belt,
checked to see if he'ze okay .

This bearded sleigh jock,
was 'bout two axe handles thick.
I weren't no believer,
but this must be old Nick..

While some of the reindeer,
had failed to survive.
Old Donner and Blitzen,
were both still alive.

Prancer bit the big one,
and Cupid had parted.
Rudolph's nose wiring,
apparently had shorted.

All in all I observed,
and of this I'm quite shore.
Half of the A team,
wouldn't fly anymore.

When the rotund one breathed,
his breath was a whistle.
Claimed he'd been shot down,
by a stray Navy Missle.

I suspected the culprit,
was Christmas egg nog.
When I caught old Santa,
doctoring his FAA log.

All of this carnage,
like a scene from MacBeth.
I guessed pilot error,
when I whiffed the elf's breath.

With his sleigh power diminished,
and a half dead consort.
To get him airborne again,
was of utmost import.

That fairy tale drunk,
with a gutsy straight face.
Inquired 'bout flying critters,
his reindeer to replace.

Chalked it up to the liquor,
or a couple of loose cogs.
So, being  gutsy myself,
I said, "I got hogs"!!

So that chubby old feller,
set to work in a flash.
To rework the harness,
tore up in the crash.

He shortened the traces,
he re-strung the reins.
re-fit the sleigh runners,
he tightened the sleigh chains.

With some double A batteries,
retrofit Rudolph's nose.
Cleaned the cow manure,
from off of his clothes.

I knew not his plan,
but this jolly old soul.
Seemed jackass determined,
to get to the North Pole.

I bought him the Hogs,
he hitched them up tight.
The reindeer on the left,
the pigs on the right.

Then he laid him a clothspin,
'cross the end of his nose.
No, it weren't magic,
just the pig smell I suppose.

Now, you may not believe it,
but with a crack of his whip.
The sleigh, pigs, and reindeer,
flew off on their trip.

But life ain't quite the same,
since that Christmas nite.
Fer one thing old Santa's sleigh,
pulls hard to the right.

And my memory flew back,
to when I was a lad.
To be more specific,
a Christmas conversation I had.

I'ze asked about Santa Clause,
and I recall my reply.
"Yea, I'll believe in Santa,
when I see pigs fly"!!!

Paul Hatch 



A Christmas Poem??

SO, you'd like to hear a Christmas poem?
Well, whoop-de-doo, - me too!
So I decided I'd consternate,
and try to scribble one fer you.

But I ain't sure I'm up to it,
My brain ain't screwed in tight,
But when I get it lubed and torqued,
I think this is what I'll write.

I'll write a poem 'bout lights an' garland,
'bout Santa an' his sleigh.
'bout presents bought from Wal Mart,
er ones missed out on eBay.

'bout Grinch and Scrooge an' Marley,
an' carolers a bit off key.
Perchance a note or two as well,
about a Christmas tree.

I may in passing even mention
the blush on children's cheeks.
Or how the yuletide shopping season,
goes on fer weeks and weeks.

I should mention Santa's elves,
those Robert Reich like gnomes,
On loan frum Keebler, these minute guys,
build presents in their homes!

I may talk of how this season,
brings joy to one and all,
'er try to explain in that same context,
'bout the catfights in the mall.

Or in these verses that I shall write,
a word or two on love.
About the Babe in Bethlehem,
and of Angels up above.

Perchance I'll speak of Gold,
of Frankincense and Myrrh.
Of wise men and of shepherds,
and Mary, -- I'll write of her!

I'll make note in this poem of mine,
of the star that came that eve.
Which helped a world awash in sin,
by seeing to believe.

Or I may write of Christ the Savior,
Or of his sacrifice.
Who grew up holy from babe to man,
And paid that awful price.

Yep, I think that I shall do it!
I'll write that Christmas verse.
But that may be years from now,
for now I'll just rehearse.

Paul Hatch


Read more poetry from Paul Hatch here at the BAR-D.




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