rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Cowboys”

Go West Young Silkies

This past Monday afternoon, five of the “Rancherette’s Silkies flew the coop. I guess their feathers got ruffled. They headed out west to the Morris Bird Ranch in Yoncalla, Oregon. As I understand it, this is a kind of a Dude Ranch/retirement coop for chickens and these five birds had seen the propaganda and were hooked. I don’t know how they found out about this place, they have no WiFi in their coop. Heck, they don’t even have a TV. Evidently, they must have had some help.

But. three square meals a day, meal worm treats, fresh fruit and veggies, and of course, cooler weather than here in Texas, along with a substantial pension convinced these little Silkies to give it a try. Well, it convinced Little Mick. He in turn, convinced the rest of the brood to defect with him. He said it would be so much fun and they all agreed. He would have convinced more birds if he had his way.

So these three little Porcelain Cream Silkies, Little Mick Jr,, Bubba, Baby Sis, and a mated pair of unidentified Silkie whites (they snuck in the car) departed for the wild, wild west. Some folks think Texas is the wild, wild west (wild, perhaps, but not west) but according to the map, Oregon is actually in the west while Texas, is a bit south. But you probably already knew that. They still have cowboys in Oregon and rodeos. I know of at least one chicken wrangler in Yoncalla, Oregon.

The story goes like this; I’m thinking that the “Rancherette” should not leave her cellphone unattended when she goes into the coops. One never knows what stranger may choose to pick it up and make unauthorized phone calls. I do know she has a secret place where she keeps her phone when she goes to the coops, so I’m not sure how Little Mick Jr., could have got it, I am curious, tho. Nevertheless, I’m pretty sure he was the culprit who used her phone. He, undoubtedly, had to use caution when texting, as his toes are not opposable. He reserved all First Class seats for his accomplices on the USPS AIRINES service. He seems to be the leader of this ring of foul fowl. But the “Rancherette” got wind of this and managed to change their 1st class seats to Coach class. However, there was a fee to change the tickets. Little Mick, Jr., had already charged the tickets on the “Rancherette’s” SilkieEspress Card and they were non-refundable. She should be more careful with her password. I’m pretty sure that 12345 is not a secure password. But, I believe he used his cleverness to lull the “Rancherette” into helping him with his plan. He has always had the “Rancherette” eating out of the palm of his chicken feet.

Since these chickens were resolute in their desire to leave, the “Rancherette” gave in and put together all the paperwork to help these ungrateful birds with their passports, (Coming from Texas, one has to have passports to enter Oregon, it’s the law). Texas will take anybody. She had to take passport photos, secure their medical history, and place their identification bracelets on their ankles. These thankless critters were now ready to fly away. She secured their luggage and provided them with snacks for the trip,The USPS does not take chicken feed in exchange for snacks. 

As they were about ready to leave, Bubba  asked if Uber was here yet? Another unauthorized use of her cellphone. She should take that app off of her phone. Needless to say, she canceled that ride.This was out of character for Bubba. I would not have guessed that he knew about Uber.

I did not tag along on the ride to the USPS AIRLINES. I’m guessing the birds were cackling all the way while the “Rancherette” was quiet and somewhat reticent. Before they left, I made it a point to ask Little Mick, Jr., if he would let us know when he and the gang arrived. He crowed he would. And he did.

On the flight, they had a one day layover in Salt Lake City. However, they were unable to take in any sights. So, today, Wednesday, the 28th, about 9 A.M., Texas time,the “Rancherette” received a phone call. However, it was not from Little Mick, Jr., it turned out to be the curator or the headmaster, or the farmer’s daughter, or maybe it was the Innkeeper, I’m not sure of her title. But the gang all arrived safe and sound. The “Rancherette” is breathing a sign of relief. These little fowl were also hungry.They probably pigged out on the snacks the first hour and then were left with nothing.

Now, I look at the Lavender Pen, it is empty! No birds! I must admit, I miss these little birds from the Lavender Pen. You birds mind your manners, don’t be pecking. No squabbling or bickering. And if you get homesick, well, call the “Rancherette”. Or better yet, call the “Rancherwriterpoet”.

Have a great day.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

The “Rancherette” took her Fuzzy Chicken Band, “On the Road Again,” this past weekend. We usually begin road trips listening to the “The Fuzzy Chicken Band with lead singers, Cowboy, the Cochin, and Zorba, Not the Greek, rehearsing for the “big show”, and this trip was no different as they practiced by warbling out “On the Road Again”. Cowboy crows the lead and Zorba, Not the Greek, harmonizes, (Cowboy pictures himself as Willie Nelson) and of course, he makes a few changes to the lyrics.

On the road again
Just can’t wait to get on the road again
The life I love is seein’ chicken friends again
And I can’t wait to get on the road again

On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve never been
Seein’ things that I may not want see again,
But I can’t wait to get on the road again.

I apologize, Mr. Nelson; I am only the bus driver, not the manager. I know you were making music with your friends and you had absolutely nothing to do with chicken bands. But you do not have to listen to these squawking birds for another four hour trip, I do. They have the most up-to-date and comfortable seats in the bus and they still complain. (Only a personal opinion, after all, this Fuzzy Chicken Band has won numerous awards from their performances and they pay a decent salary).

This particular road trip sent us to the West Texas Fair and Rodeo, in Abilene, Texas, for another live chicken show performance. After consulting with the Fuzzy Chicken Band, their agent (and manager), the “Rancherette”, booked this performance. The Fuzzy Chicken Band only plays at marquee performance halls and the Taylor County Expo Center in Abilene was certainly one of those.

Regardless, every musical group has a bus driver, so I went along to provide the chauffeuring for the trip. I am also in charge of providing accommodations and cuisine for the “Rancherette” and the band’s bus driver. I’m always looking for restaurant signs along the way that say “bus drivers eat free.” That appeals to me, for financial reasons of course. Typically the “Rancherette” prefers a different epicurean adventure.

Now the Fuzzy Chicken Band can eat anywhere and anything, however, they have their own special cuisine, concocted by their handler. The “Rancherette” is in charge of that department. Yet, when it comes to eating, no one can match up with “Cowboy, the Cochin,” who happens to be the lead singer; not even the Little Cochin Sisters, who have their own reputation to maintain.After, or should I say, during, the rehearsing by Cowboy, the Cochin and Zorba, Not the Greek, the Little Cochin  Sisters were warming their vocal cords with this little ditty:
“Abilene, Abilene”
Prettiest town I ever seen.
Hope the judges don’t treat me mean
In Abilene, my Abilene.”

I apologize to Mr. George Hamilton IV. He sang it much better, but, as I told Mr. Nelson, I am only the bus driver, not the Fuzzy Chicken Band’s manager.

Eventually, we arrived at the Taylor County Expo Center, where the Fuzzy Chicken Band would be performing, along with other chicken bands in a contest to determine which band or performer is better. However, the band was a little disappointed in their dressing rooms. But being the troupers they are, they would manage. Cowboy did occupy a prominent location and was happy about that; however, Zorba was relegated to a lesser spot. The Cochin Sisters are happy as long as they have sufficient food and water. When they do not, they get happy feet. Their stage is not large enough for performing the Chicken Dance, yet they still do their little happy dance.

Cowgirl joins The Cochin Sisters in the Cochin Trio performing their own work “Pecking and Scratching” and the Little Motown Clucking Silkies, with Cowgirl in the lead, presented one of their oldie favorites, “R E S P E C T”, (again with apologies, this time to Aretha Franklin.)

They still get requests for other clucking songs and also autographs. They are happy to oblige. But Cowboy stole the show. He received numerous standing ovations for his performance and a very élite accolade. He was the only one to receive this award from all the fuzzy chicken bands performing there. Other members of the band did well, with a few 1st place awards.

This was only a one nite stand, and they, meaning the band, were exhausted from their performance, thus the drive home was one of mostly silence. I, being the bus driver, was happy about that. I couldn’t wait until I got back home and put the bus in the garage. And speaking of the bus, Cowboy, being the star, wants a new ride. He chose this one.

rooster-car-copy

Hope you have a very happy day.

THE COUNTY FAIR, Part I

Many of my readers know that I have experienced some heath issues these past few months. Thankfully, I can say that I am recovering nicely and beginning to hold my own, partly, thanks to steroids and definitely thanks to God. So, in a manner of speaking I was able to take a side trip this past Labor Day weekend from our North Texas home to La Grange, Texas. The “Rancherette” was showing her prized Silkie and Cochin bantams at the Fayette County, Texas Fair. La Grange is a great little town. This was our second trip to La Grange and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
So we began our trip with a pickup load of chickens. Let me assure you, they ride in their custom made chicken containers in the back seat of the cab. The seats fold up, thus creating room for these spoiled fowl. They have the air conditioner vents spaced in such a fashion, that each bird practically has their own personal vent. Wonder how all this fits? Well, the ice chest with all the drinks and snacks for humans, along with the expensive luggage, rides in the bed of the truck. Obviously, if one needs a drink or any other personal item, I pull over and climb in the pickup bed to obtain such creature comforts. One can probably identify with the priority.
The trip was fun, if you can understand chicken language. Because space is limited, some birds must share their crates with each other. The hens are cackling, causing one to think eggs are being laid. Wrong, they are communicating with each other, discussing the pros and cons of traveling to a chicken show, like which chicken is going to win and squabbling and arguing with each other. I’m thinking that we were not 10 miles down the road before they began asking, “Are we there yet?” Sometimes, they quarrel and fight and then blame the other for starting it. “You started it”, did not, did too”. When this happens they must disciplined. The “Rancherette” is in charge of discipline. I suggested she use the code words, CHICKEN NUGGETS!, however, she disagreed. If you have children, you will understand the personalities of fowl.
When the “Rancherette” scolds them, most of the time it doesn’t work. When it seems to make a difference, they cease cackling and begin pecking on the bottom of their crates. You may think they are only pecking, however; they actually are speaking in Morse code. It is a trick to confuse us humans, thinking, of course, we do not understand. They do not know I was in the military and can understand every utterance. Then, if that is not enough, the roosters get in on the act with their crowing. The “Rancherette” encourages it even farther by pitting Cowboy, the bantam Cochin against Zorba, the Silkie, in dueling squawks. First Zorba crows, then the “Rancherette” says, “your turn, Cowboy”. And back and forth, they crow. Meanwhile, the hens are still engaged with their Morse code. Reminds me of the movies where the incarcerated rattle their tin cups against the bars and pass notes from one cell to another. The “Rancherette’s” chickens are very smart, but they do not possess the skills to write notes. Therefore, they use codes so the correctional officers will not understand.

And one other thing, the next trip I am going to record some chicken songs on a CD for these birds to listen while we travel. Songs like, “Ain’t Nobody Here but us Chickens, or Ray Steven and the Hen House 5’s version of “In the Mood”.  If you wish to hear their favorite ditty, click on  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PENJxl-THS8. The chickens just love this version.

The last thing I need in the back seat of my truck is a flock of chickens dancing to the tune of the “Chicken Dance”, so that one will not be included. And to think, this is only the first leg, we must still travel back home with these bickering little birds.

Have a great day and Stay tuned for Part II

Hunters and Gatherers

The old rancherwriterpoet has not been around lately. Maybe you noticed, maybe not. Medical circumstances have prevented this old drugstorecowboy/wannabe writer from some of his usual activities.

He has reached a point in his life that calls for a time of observation. For example, little things that originally had no clear-cut basis for consideration have now become seemingly a big deal. Discovering in these past few weeks, simple things I previously performed on a daily basis are not always easy tasks to perform. Sometimes, they become complicated, difficult, and even impossible.

In the earliest of days, eons ago, man was declared the hunter and woman was declared the gatherer. The roles of man and woman were clear. “Me Tarzan, you Jane” I am not making a judgment for or against that thought. I do not necessarily subscribe to the “me Tarzan, you Jane” setting, however, as a man, I have always felt I had a role to perform as a “hunter”. This was ingrained in me as a youngster. There were roles for the male and roles for the female. After all, boundaries were established and not to be crossed.

Well, that was then, this is now, and it never became clearer to me than in these past few weeks.

This “hunter” is here to tell you that in our household, the “gatherer” is perfectly capable of performing the tasks of not only her perceived responsibilities, but also those that I considered to be solely in my domain. In fact, she has stepped up the game. As I said, I am in a time of observation and I have observed the carpentry skills she has acquired, her chauffeuring ability, and her lawn maintenance proficiency. She has the leading role of managing the dogs, the chickens, the cooking, the grocery shopping, and auto upkeep and without a doubt the excellent care she affords the “hunter”. That only scratches the surface. Without the capable assistance of the “Rancherette” this old “Rancherwriterpoet” would have had a most difficult time.

I am making progress toward a time when this “hunter” can once again share in the family tasks alongside the “gatherer”. It will be a challenge, she is very good at what she does and I am so very grateful to her and to God for her.

Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10a that says:

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up…

I doubt  Solomon wrote that with my circumstances in mind, but I claim it. I can say for certain, I am blessed.

The Hat

In Bible study last Sunday morning the subject of wearing hats in church was put out there for comments. Is it or is it not in the Bible? That certainly put a “Bee in someone’s bonnet”, I’m pretty sure I do not want a Bee in my bonnet. But, then, I’m not about to wear a bonnet either. My grandmother wore a bonnet. Maybe if I did wear a bonnet I might not have to make a regularly scheduled trip to the dermatologist.

I do have a western straw hat that I wear when I am in my “Rancherwriterpoet” disguise. One can only wear a straw hat in the summer. It bears a resemblance to the rule that says you are not to suppose to wear white after Labor Day. I don’t think that is in the Bible. If someone says it is, then, they are “Talking through their hat”. And if someone finds it, I will consider “eating my hat”.

Someone suggested that we should “Put on our thinking cap”. I haven’t had a thinking cap since the first grade and even then it was a pointed hat. I confess, I did not wear that “cap” voluntarily. The teachers of my day had a way of “wearing many hats”. I’m certain that that aspect has not changed. In some situations, the hat they wore brought fear. In my case, the most feared teacher was “Coach Knight” and his Board of Education.

Here in Texas, you will see two types of hats. The Baseball cap ( or any number of what is called “gimmee” caps) and the cowboy hat. The baseball cap does not really make you a baseball player nor does it metamorphose you into a cowboy. You need a horse for that. There are places where you can wear the head coverings and places where you cannot. For example, you can wear a Texas Ranger’s (the ball team not the law enforcement) cap to the ballpark, but if you go inside the restaurant, you must take it off. You can roll it up and put it in your back pocket. You can wear your John Deere cap to the John Deere dealer, but if you go inside the show room, you must take it off. If you step inside an elevator, you do not necessarily have to remove your hat, except if a lady is present, then of course you must remove it. A gentlemen never keeps his hat on in the presence of a lady.

Now for you ladies, you can wear your hat anywhere you want. Even into church, well, unless it is a baseball cap. They are considered unisex caps and have the same rules as the men. You can remove it and place it in your purse. Men have the same option of placing their cap in their man bag.

The other type of head covering here in Texas is the cowboy hat. Over the years, the cowboy hat has played a major part of the everyday lifestyle of both the female and the male. In the early days, the good guys wore white hats and the bad guys wore black hats. See my profile pic. Unless you are a country music star, in which case you can wear whatever you want.

Well, that brings us back to the subject at hand, wearing hats in church. Of course, you can’t wear your hat in church. If, as a child, I ever failed to remove my cap in church, well, I cannot explain the consequences in this family style writing. I can say without hesitancy, that it was much easier to remove the cap than having to stand while I ate my Sunday fried chicken, if I was lucky enough to get a piece of chicken. I did some research, thanks to a Biblical scholar in our midst. He suggested I read First Corinthians 11:1-15. I did and it makes perfectly good sense to me.

Cowboy hats should be removed in places of worship, courtrooms and generally in private homes, unless everyone else is wearing one and then it is ok to go along with the crowd Also, if you are in a restaurant that serves anything not coated in BBQ sauce, it might be best to lose the hat. Cowboy hats for ladies fall in the category as “unisex” hats and you must use the hat rack just as the men do.

The etiquette for wearing hats has changed over the years. Hats are worn less now, but at the turn of the 20th century, all adults wore hats whenever they left the house. Ladies also wore stylish hats in public, reserving the bonnets for daily wear around the house, but always with their heads covered. Gentlemen tipped their hats to ladies and removed them upon entering a building. Sadly, those days have passed us by. What we encounter today are the wearing of caps on heads in such a way one cannot tell if they are coming or going. I think maybe their heads are like owls, they swivel.

I think the lesson I learned today is the removal of men’s hats in church is a sign of honor to God. I ‘m not “Keeping this under my hat”. You can “Hang your hat on that”.I certainly hope this clears up the confusion about the wearing of hats in church.

It‘s best I tip my hat to all
It seems the thing to do
A sign of my respect
To those within my view.

Pete Robertson
© 2016

Me and My Friend Ben

This post is slightly different than most of my writings. As it says on my blog, I offer writings that contain poetry, short stories and other musings about life’s adventures. A few years back, I decided I would venture into the poetic world of “cowboy poetry”. I could fool myself into thinking I was a part of “the old west”, relive a time that has always been in my dreams. I have somewhat an envious position for those who live that lifestyle today. Of course, I am confident the reality of those times was not nearly as adventuresome as has been depicted in the books and movies. Nevertheless, it is a part of my makeup.

Born and raised in Texas I have an affinity for cowboys, not that all Texans have such an understanding; however, I grew up in an era that idolized the character. For me, there was nothing like riding horses all day long, chasing outlaws, rescuing the fair damsels in distress or helping out the rancher whose property was about to be taken from him by some evildoer.

Please bear in mind; I never did any of these things. But I wanted to.  In actuality, I got most of my information from old western comic books and Saturday matinees. Now these many years later, I still get goose bumps when I turn on the old western movies and transform myself into the character on screen. As Willie Nelson sang, “My heroes have always been cowboys”, I relate to that.

With that in mind, I wanted to post a  poem about a cowboy and his friend. It seems to transport me back to those days. Perhaps it may strike a chord with you.

Please understand, it is does not rank even close to the class of a “Baxter Black” or a “Red Steagall”, two of my favorite cowboy poets.

Me and Ben in the Summer of 1873

I laid my old friend Ben into his final rest,
Out here on the Texas plains, in the land he loved best.
We rode together for nigh on all his born years.
old cowboys ain’t s’posed to break down in tears.

There was times when we didn’t know no fear
Just me and Ben, on the wild frontier.
We’d brushed up against the wild Comanche
Late in the summer of sixty-three

We lived through that skirmish with a wing and a prayer
Got out of their way not a minute to spare.
I’m thinking those Indians misunderstood
but we outran their ponies as fast as we could.

We put up with sandstorms pitch darker than night
Got burned up in the noonday light
stormed over by rain clouds unleashing their wrath
and blinded by snowstorms covering our path

Outran the red wolves and jumped over snakes
We did all we could, what ever it takes.
We dodged all those tumbling tumbleweeds
Roaring cross the plains, scattering their seeds.

we chased after outlaws who picked the wrong side
tracking them lawbreakers with no place to hide
sometimes we disagreed about which way to go
most times, we went the way the winds blow.

We’ve crossed over the Pecos near Monahans
near by where Old Fort Stockton stands.
we rode by Fort Phantom Hill near Abilene
And all parts of Texas, most folks ain’t never seen.

But late in the summer of eighteen seventy-three
Old Ben slipped on his old bad knee.
He came down hard and his heart gave way
He died on the prairie right where he lay.

I miss the old days when we rode together,
me and my friend, in all kinds of weather.
but as sure as the blood flows down through my veins
Old Ben surely is riding ‘cross heaven’s plains

I ain’t no preacher speaking with no preacher’s goal
but some say that animals are born with no soul
I ain’t so sure that notion withstands the test
I’m thinking old Ben must surely be blessed.

                                         I’m wondering if heaven would really be heaven                                                                                 for a cowboy without his dear horse?                                     Cowboy

A Chicken Wrangler’s Poem

 

I got an invitation to write this cowboy rhyme,
‘bout the Chicken Wranglers who ride from time to time.
So I sat down in my cowboy corner and in my cowboy chair
I searched my cowboy brain and wrote this cowboy prayer.

“Lord, bless the Chicken Wranglers, the ones who ride the range
And keep them little chickens safe, away from critters strange.”

I wrote this with my trusty cowboy pen.

A Chicken Wrangler’s Poem

The old chicken wrangler moseyed out her back door
She had chickens to tend to and that’s always a chore,
They scratch and peck and preen and dig holes in the dirt
As the cantankerous old “Roo” just sidesteps while he flirts.

The old chicken wrangler or sometimes, “Rancherette”
Comes to see this “Roo” as something of a threat,
So, she speaks very softly, but she carries a big stick
‘cause this ornery old rooster is often just too quick.

He’s just about one of the best of the breed
Worth every nickel she’d spent on his seed.
He has all the makings of championship stock
Old Cap’n Kanga “Roo” reigns over his flock.

But a wrangler can’t have just one stud in his herd
And this chicken wrangler? She needs a brand new bird.
So from her Silkie flock way up on the hill
Comes a nice Blue cockerel that gives her quite a thrill.

This brand new Silkie rooster comes with Silkie chicks
Bringing with his hatch a brand new bag of tricks.
While pullets scratch and peck and preen and dig ‘round in the dirt
“Big Blue” is just a crowing, still learning how to flirt.

So a Chicken Wrangler’s work is almost never done
and cleaning all that poop ain’t never been much fun
But wrangle on they will ‘cause it’s built inside their genes
and just like kids, they love ‘em, even when they’re teens.

                                                                                 Pete Robertson                                                                                                               March 2015

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