M2 Minute with Janet Sheridan: Columnist pays tribute to rodeo cowpokes
June 24, 2011
I admire the daring and skill of those who rodeo, especially the students who competed in the Colorado State High School Rodeo finals and the Little Britches Rodeo hosted by Craig this year.
I never had their ability, but I did have a passion for mounting up and heading out, as illustrated by the following cowboy poem I penned.
I call it "Two Cowpokes," and it goes as follows:
Sparrows at chirp, sun over the shed,
Light mist arising, we crept from our bed.
We rose with the dawn; we could no longer sleep.
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Barefoot on wood floors, our excitement ran deep.
Emerging wide-eyed into crisp morning air,
We wore rumpled clothes and wild, tangled hair.
Bob in the lead, I tagging behind,
We followed our plan with a purposeful mind.
Running through pastures still wet with dew
Our breath came fast; our words were few.
Time was short; chores soon would begin.
We had only an hour to take a fast spin.
We were breaking a rule, told not to do,
But our drowsy parents hadn't a clue.
We needed to ride, let our spirits run free;
When all were awake, that wouldn't be.
The mountains loomed tall; the hayfields glowed green.
We spied in the distance our riding machine.
We held out gold grain, warm from our hand,
To coax our ride to the fence to stand.
Bob hoped for Bucilla; I wanted Sweet Alice,
Toward young riders, she showed less malice.
Her back was wide and big and strong
Perfect for hauling two cowpokes along.
At last Alice neared, we leaped with a whoop,
Scrambled onto her back, carrying twine in a loop
To use as our bridle, we needed no saddle.
One isn't required when riding … cattle.
Couldn't afford a pony; couldn't afford a horse,
So a friendly milk cow was our only recourse.
We rode Alice far; we rode Alice wide,
Our legs, horizontal, poking out to the side.
We loved this cow of orange and white.
We'd ride her all day; we'd ride her all night.
But Dad said our pranks made her milk sparse;
"Ain't natural to make a heifer a 'harse'."
She suited us well; she plodded along.
Bob, grinning and bouncing, broke into a song.
So what if she mooed, when a real ride would neigh,
And kept stopping to take a quick swipe at the hay?
She had only low gear; she couldn't be prodded,
Her slow, awkward gait would never be lauded.
We knew mounted friends would smirk and revile,
But we jounced proudly along, riding with style.
She lifted her tail, fertilized with a flop;
The cascading splat made us laugh without stop.
At moments like this, what else did we need?
Well maybe … perhaps … a cow with more speed.