“She’s strong,” the cowboy offered,
With a twinkle in his eye.
“I’ll wager she’s got bottom,
With no quit and lots of try.”
I glanced in the direction
That his nod bid me to go.
“Purty head, a real nice neck,
She looks fine enough to show.”
“I betcha she ain’t cold-backed,
Like some others I have knowed.
She’s fit and not too fleshy.”
Words of praise pert nearly flowed.
I gaped in pure confusion,
At a hammer-headed mare.
She’d been around the range some,
You could plainly see the wear.
Her pig eyes stared out blankly,
Her old cowhocks nearly kissed,
The faults I seen was endless,
They’s too numerous to list.
The cowboy had horse savvy.
His pronouncements took as law,
But the crazy he was talkin’
Worked my brain ‘til it was raw.
A fever might a took’im
Or his eyes was gettin’ dim.
I’s scramblin’ for the answer,
When I stopped and looked at him.
No squintin’ nor a’quakin’
So I knew I had to ask.
“Pard,” I queried cautiously,
“Ya been emptyin’ yer flask?”
His gaze was straight and level,
As he looked me in the eye.
“Nope,” was all he said to me,
But his count’nance added “why?”
I spluttered and I stammered,
Tried in vain to find my voice.
I didn’t want to tell him,
But there clearly weren’t no choice.
“Well,” I started nervously,
Tryin’ hard not to affront.
“That hoss ain’t naught but crowbait!”
Hadn’t meant to be so blunt.
“A greenhorn ought not question,
The fine wisdom I bestow.”
The cowboy was a’smilin’,
Talkin’ soft and kinda slow.
His grin kept gettin’ bigger,
Till it lit the whole corral.
“Ne’er said it were the mare, son.
I was talkin’ ’bout the gal.”
A purty senorita,
Led that nag on out the gate.
He watched as she departed,
“Looky there, she’s trackin’ straight.”