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by Frank Shortt
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Sun parched faces facing the west
Saddle sore, still trying their best
To do their duty for the brand,
With aching bones and calloused hand!
Riding all day through chapparel
Roping steers, over hill and dell,
Changing horses when one got tired
Each in his string was always wired,
Requiring the rider who rode
To prepare himself to be throwed!
Picking himself up off the earth,
This was no time for foolish mirth!
The bedroll sure looked mighty good
After, sometimes, eating cold food,
They'd pray they found some softened ground,
And that no rattlers came around!
No time to think, or waste the hours,
Even if your stomach sours,
To start the same thing o'er again
Such's the life of a cattleman!
Those days are gone to yesteryear
Herefords replaced the long horn steer,
The horse was replaced by a jeep,
'Twas hard for some to make that leap.
Now the story's told in darkened bars,
No more reclining 'neath the stars,
In dreams they ride the phantom broncs,
Awake to rub their aching conks!
Painting by Ray Pacheco