The Cookie hammers on the pan and you snap wide awake,
the horse thats in your string today is sure to be a snake.
The wrangos got the cavy comin' you can hear the clanging bell,
and in that bunch of horses there's 1200 pounds of hell.
You swear if you live through this roundup, that you'll get a job in town.
The horse that you ride today, they call the bogus brown.
The beef steak's good at breakfast and the biscuits golden brown,
but thinking what you have to ride, you can hardly choke them down.
Shorty across the table says he wishes for daylight,
cause he sure likes to see it when that brown is on the fight.
Before you can answer Shorty's little jeer,
the boss says by daylight we'll be fifteen miles from here.
In the light of the coal oil lantern you walk to the corral,
and backed up in a corner is a brown horse you know too well.
You build a hole in your reata and snare the Bogus Brown,
hobble his legs together and cinch your saddle down.
There's rollers in his nose and he's really talking war,
you know that he's not lying cause you've been there before.
The other boys are mounted and kind-of-circle 'round,
they're there to get your saddle back if "Old Bogus" beds you down.
It's off with the hobbles, you know the time has come,
your heart is pounding in your ears like Yankee Doodle's drum.
Old Brownies' all humped up until the skirts don't touch his back,
throw the McCarty over his neck and gather in the slack.
When you step up on him, . . . he doesn't move around,
just humps up and shivers like he's frozen to the ground.
But, when you un-track him a squeal rips the air,
he jerks the mccarty through through your hands till you smell the burning hair.
You don't have to see to know that he's headed for the moon,
you hunt the cinch with both your spurs and find it none to soon.
The boys can't see your cheatin' if they choose to call it that,
but you know that you can't spur him or fan him with your hat.
The bogus brown is bawling and tearing up the dirt,
each jumps a little higher and you really start to hurt.
You would like to bail off and give the Brown the fight,
but you can't see a place to land by the morning stars faint light.
The dogs all get int a fight they sure do have a row.
but you don't even hear them cause you're might busy now.
By now you've lost both stirrups and you're plumb out of air,
but you're still up above him, though you can't tell just where.
At last he brings his head up and starts to settle down,
when he looses he'll admit it, that dirty bogus brown.
When the morning star has faded and you can see that brown and sweaty hide,
no one has to tell you that you really earned this ride.
That evening, when you're crowding cattle to the ground,
you know for sure that cowboy life beats any life in town.
Then a thought comes in your head that brings you to a frown.
you remember when his turn comes up you gotta ride the Bogus Brown.
The grass is green that once was brown,
Why did I use to feel so down?
I didn't care I had no fear,
I forgot how I had gotten here.
I left the ones who cared behind,
I closed my eyes so I was blind.
It took so long before I learned,
when you play with fire you will get burned.
And now that I can see the light,
I no longer want to fight.
The sky is blue that once was gray,
I think I just might like today.
T'was battered and scarred and the auctioneer,
Thought it scarcely worth his while.
To waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good folks " he cried,
"Who'll start the bidding for me?"
" A dollar then,, "Two!" Only two? two dollars,
and who'll make it three?
"Three dollars, once Three dollars twice,
going for three, But no.
From the room far back,
a grey haired man, came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin,
and tightening the loose strings.
He played a melody pure and sweet,
as a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer,
with a voice that was quite low,
Said: "What am I bid for the old violin?"
and held it up with the bow.
"A thousand dollars, and who'll make it two?
two thousand! and who'll make it three?
Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
and going and gone" said he.
The people cheered but some of them cried,
we do not quite understand,
What changed it's worth?, Swift came the reply,
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
And many a man with life out of tune,
and battered and scarred with sin.
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
much like the old violin.
A "mess of pottage a glass of wine,
a game " And he travels on.
He is "going"
and almost gone."
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd,
never can quite understand.
The worth of a soul and the changes that wrought,
by "The Touch of the Masters Hand."
Around and around the old barnyard,
that rooster chased the hen. They
circled out beyond the corral, then
doubled back again.
The rooster, he was handicapped, that
was plain to all. If he catches that
old mother hen, she'll have to trip and
A salesman watched in disbelief, he
could not believe his eyes. That
rooster wore bib overalls, they were
cut and fit to size.
My sister opened up the door, her
husband owned that ranch. The
travelin' man said, "Pardon Ma'am,
isn't that chicken wearin' pants?"
"Well yes," she says, "Late one night
the hen house burnt out. The rooster
was a hero then, of that there is no
He saved those hens from a fiery
death, he holds each one quite dear.
But he singed his tail feathers off, and
badly burned his rear."
"Felt really sorry for that bird, in his
So I used Pa's old britches legs to
make that rooster pants.
I only wanted to cover his butt until
new feathers grew there. Now he
likes those fancy pants, he wears them
"He likes to strut and show his stuff,
then he really crows. We all got use
to watchin' him in those designer
"Well what does he do, if per chance,
he catches that old hen? It seems to
me those bulky pants would only
"Well yes," she says, "It happens he's
as good as roosters go. It sure is fun
to be watchin', beats any old T.V.
When he catches one it keeps us all
in stitches. As he holds her down
with one hind hoof, while he's
scratchin' off those britches!"
I remember a tough little cow-
boy, came riding thru here one day.
He looked like a real good hand
to me, he was riding a little bay.
His little horse was pretty lame,
he'd picked up a stone.
The cowboy said, "I'd like to
trade for one to get me home."
He said, "I'm fifty miles,
from where I need to be."
"If you've got one you'd like to
trade, you'd sure be helpin' me."
Well I was almost out of horses,
'cept for one ol' ap'.
And I just kind'a hated, to set
this kid a trap.
So I just up and told him,
"This horse is rank and tough".
"It'll take a lot to ride him, and
you might not have enough."
"Cause this ol' horse can jump as
high, as you can throw yer hat."
"And he'll turn you so many
ways, you'll not know where yer at."
"Now he don't give any warnin',
and he don't give any slack."
"All he know is he don't like,
nobody on his back!"
" Too many hands have tried
him, that's how I came to know."
"I think you aughta pass him up,
he sure can rodeo!"
"But if feelin' salty, or just want
to try yer luck."
"You can take a shot at him,
but this ol' horse can buck!
Well I sure do need to get on
home," The cowboy then replied.
"And this ol horse could get me
there, if I could steal a ride."
Well we made the trade and I
was fair, I booted with a ten.
I knew he couldn't ride that
horse, not even in the pen.
Well he roped that horse around
the neck, and snubbed him to the post.
I could see this cowboy had
some guts, a whole lot more than most.
He used his jacket for a blind,
then went to get his saddle,
This ol' horse was roman'ed nosed,
you sure could hear him rattle.
Soon he had him saddled up,
and set his hackamore.
I could see by every move he
made, that he' been there before.
He untied that horse real easy,
stepped on and jerked the blind.
While he caught the off side
stirrup, and he did that just in time.
'Cause that ol' horse exploded,
went way up in the air!
And an ordinary cowboy,
would'a been left a sittin' there!
You talk about a bronc ride,
now I was seeing one.
You talk about a cowboy, this
kid was being one.
I've seen some rough ol' buckin
stock, and many a salty hand.
But that pair there topped them
all, Since cowboy life began.
When the kid told me to throw
the gate, I thought I heard him wrong.
I was maybe going crazy, or I'd
been in the sun too long.
But I threw it back just like he
said, I threw it open wide.
And never in my cowboy life,
had I witnessed such a ride.
Out across that sagebrush
flat that crazy pair did go.
They was headin' for the
badlands, to where I'll never know.
But just before he topped that
ridge, he hollered back to say.
If you think this ol' horse is
tough, don't ever try that bay!
In the dusk of workin' cowboys,
comes a time to fill yer cup.
And to gather by the fire,
while the dishes get's washed up.
Time to patch up yer ol' riggin',
or lean back and roll a smoke.
While somebody tells a windy,
or somebody tells a joke.
Or Some cowboy makes up verses,
to the tune of Wildwood Flower.
And each tries to top each other,
and it's called the LIAR'S HOUR.
Now I know it don't sound fancy,
but it mends a cowboys bones.
When he's been a workin' cattle,
a thousand miles from home.
We guys down here in Texas,
We like to brag a lot.
We think that we're all cowboys,
But some of us are not.
There's cowboys every where you go,
North, South, and East or West.
There's some that's good, some that's bad,
And some of them, the best.
We all don't dress or look alike,
Our gear is different too.
We all work cattle differently,
As our daily chores we do.
There's cowboys up in Canada,
Some of the best you'll ever see.
And the Aussies working down below,
They sure have impressed me.
The Gauchos down in Argentina,
They're good as what I've heard.
The natives go barefoot in Africa,
As they graze and water their herd.
There's one thing that I've learned so far,
I'm going to tell you now.
No matter where in the world you go,
A cow is still a COW.
Well now you're not exactly blue yet you don't feel like you do,
in the winter or on the long hot summer days,
For your feelings and the weather seem ta' sorta go together,
and you're quiet in the dreamy autumn haze.
When the last big steers been goaded up the chute and safely loaded,
and the Summer crew has ceased to hit the ball,
Well a fella sorta sets to draggin, to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they've finished shippin' cattle in the fall.
Now there ain't but two men left a standin' on the job for winter brandin,'
your old partner there he's kind'a loafin' by yer side.
You got a brand new saddle creakin,' but you never hear him speakin,'
you feel it's gonna be a quite ride.
But you savey'ed one another yeah you know him like a brother,
he's friendly, just sorta quite that is all.
He's just thinkin as he's draggin,' to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they finish shippin' cattle in the Fall.
Ah this saddle horse is stringin' an easy walk a swingin'
and behind the ol' chuckwagon movin' slow.
They're weary, gaunt, they're jaded from the mud and brush they've waded,
and they settled down to business long ago.
Not a horse is feelin' snorty, not a horse is actin' sporty,
in the spring them brutes was full of buck and bawl.
Now they're gentleness or draggin' to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they finish shippin' cattle in the Fall
The old cook leads retreat perched up high on his wagon seat,
he's got his ol hat pulled foreword on his head.
He use to make that old team hustle now he scarcely moves a muscle,
and a fella might imagine that he's dead.
'Cept his old cob pipe's a smokin' as he lets his team go a pokin,'
hittin' every hump and holler in the road.
Naw ol' cookie ain't been drinkin' he's just settin' there a thinkin',
'bout the people, places that he's know'ed.
You'll watch the dust a trailin' two little clouds a sailin'
a big mirage like lakes in timber tall.
And it's lonesome when you're draggin' to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they finished shippin' cattle in the fall.
Well you make the camp that night you got a fire burnin bright,
but nobody seems to have to much to say.
Back in the spring you sung and hollered, now you just kinda get yer supper swallered,
you crawl into yer blankets right away.
You watch them stars a shinin' up there in that soft blue line'n,
you breathe that frosty night air clean and cool.
You hear the night horse shiftin' and your memory goes to driftin,'
back to that little village where you once went to school.
With it's narrow gravel streets and the kids you use to meet,
in the common where you use to play baseball.
Now you're far away and draggin, to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they finish shippin' cattle in the Fall.
And your boyhood sweetheart too she had eyes of honest blue,
best performer in the hometown talent show.
Ah you was only just a kid, but ya liked her, sure ya did.
Lord that's been better than thirty years ago.
And yer memory starts to roam up from Mexico to Gnome,
from the Rio Grand clear up to the Powder River.
'Bout the things ya seen and done, some of them was lots of fun.
and there was other things that sorta makes ya shiver.
Like that fella name of Reed, got killed in a stampede,
that was way up north, ya helped 'em dig his grave.
Your good friend Jim the boss, he got hung up on his hoss,
the fella's couldn't reach him in time to save.
Now you was there when Ed got his'n, the kid who killed him is still in prison.
Old lucky George he's rich, he's livin' high.
Poor old Tom come off the worst, broke his leg and died of thirst.
my God what a terrible way to die.
Yeah the winters at the ranch's and the old time country dances,
everybody there was sociable and gay.
Ya use to lead 'em up the middle just a prancin' to the fiddle,
never thought of goin' home til break of day.
No there ain't much chance of sleepin' when the memories come a creepin.'
sometimes you think you hear the voices call.
When you're far a way and draggin' to the home ranch with the wagon,
when they finished shippin' cattle in the Fall.
By, . . . Vance Penn
That little county fair.
Heard carney’s bark and kids scream,
Smells of livestock and funnel cakes on the air.
I didn’t bring no family,
I shore didn’t tell my friends.
If this doesn’t go well,
The jokes will never end.
I paid all my fees,
And I thought I was ready.
But how can you prepare,
For a bull, named Fat Freddy?
I put my rope on him,
And climbed down inside.
I nodded my head and said,
Outside, boys, outside.
Freddy bucked and bellered,
And I thought I was close to eight.
Till I heard the chute boss say,
“Get up, kid, so we can close the gate”
CMR 431 Box 2152
APO AE 09175
"Idaho's Cowboy Entertainer, Poet, & Western Humorist"
You can reach him at the ranch in Idaho
on his Cell Phone at (208) 890-6869
Calls from anywhere in Idaho to this cell number is always a local call.
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