by Andy Nelson
The title of a poster caught my eye,
At the old hometown feed and seed;
“Would you like to give a new job a try?”
I commenced to give it a read.
The qualifications are quite easy,
We need a young male in his prime;
A caretaker will feed him and sees he
stays on the ranch most of the time.
The neighbors don’t care much for visitors,
You’ll have to stay within our bounds;
They’ve even shot at some inquisitors,
So don’t be making any rounds.
You will be expected to be present,
When we call to come on the run;
Your nature does not have to be pleasant,
As long as you get your work done.
You must always be willing and eager,
And in the best shape to perform;
You must deliver like a big leaguer,
Even when it’s not very warm.
You can roughhouse with the other fellers,
Just don’t hurt them so they can’t work;
Don’t be mean to the other ranch dwellers,
All in all, just don’t be a jerk.
Really it is pretty simple duty,
Just work a few months of the year;
The ladies don’t care if you are snooty,
And the guys will mostly stay clear.
Just do as you wish both winter and spring,
But work in the summer and fall;
Eat all you that want and live like a king,
And don’t be too orn’ry to haul.
We’ll suffer your antics, as will each cow,
Even if you are a handful;
You may have already guessed it by now;
We’re in need of a new herd bull.
© 2016, Andy Nelson, used with permission
Second-generation farrier Andy Nelson is a popular cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host (with his brother Jim) of the syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.
Andy appears at events and gatherings across the West, and he will be at the Heber Valley Music & Cowboy Gathering in Heber City, Utah, October 26-30, 2016.
In Heber City, he’ll join other poets: Waddie Mitchell, Doris Daley, Jeff Carson, DW Groethe, Jo Lynne Kirkwood, Ross Knox, and Walt “Bimbo” Cheney; and musicians Michael Martin Murphey, Suzy Bogguss, Bar J Wranglers, The Highwaymen Live Tribute Band, Dave Stamey, Wylie & The Wild West, The Haunted Windchimes, Joni Harms, Belinda Gail, New West, Trinity Seely, John Wayne Schulz, Heifer Belles, Molly in the
Mineshaft, Olivia Harms, Miss Devon and The Outlaw, Dansie Family Band, Kenny Hall, Ken Stevens & Jerye Lee, and the Heber Valley Orchestra.
Andy Nelson’s latest CD is “I Won,” and it features a wide range of poetic moods, from nonsense to reverence, that show the breadth of his talents. He is accompanied by friend and top songwriter Brenn Hill—who produced the album—on several tracks. The great-looking package sports a cover by noted cowboy cartoonist Ben Crane.
This 1941 photo, “Bull’s head. Cruzen Ranch, Valley County, Idaho,” is by Russell Lee, (1903-1986) and is from The Library of Congress. Find more about it here.
Find a feature about noted photographer Russell Lee and a gallery of photographs at the University of Texas at Austin.
(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem with this post, but any other use requires permission. The photo is in the public domain.)