CUTTIN’ OUT THE CALVES
by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)
Well now them purty little calves
has sorter come to grief.
A lot of them is shipped away
and et fer baby beef.
And if they don’t get shipped away
they got to leave their Ma.
They got to quit a drinkin’ milk
and larn to eat and chaw.
But any time a feller thinks
they’re easy separated
He’d orta try and cut ’em out
and he’ll git eddicated.
You caint tell what a calf will do—
he’s allus actin’ crazy.
I’ve often thought, twixt me and you,
his mind was sorta hazy.
But then a old cow ain’t like that.
I needn’t to explain.
I’ve seen some heads in onder hats
that didn’t have her brains.
A crazy calf and foxy cow,
when once you git ’em mixed
I aim to tell you hear and now
can pull a lot of tricks.
They make a cuttin’ pony sweat;
they make a cow boy ride.
They git yore temper overhet
and rile you up inside.
To stop and think it aint so bad,
and afterwards it’s fun.
But man it mostly makes you mad
before you git it done.
…Bruce Kiskaddon, 1933
This poem seems a good complement to the previous post. It is an early poem by Kiskaddon, printed in the October, 1933 Los Angeles Union Stockyards calendar and illustrated by Katherine Field (1908-1951). It also appeared in the Western Livestock Journal and Kiskaddon’s 1935 book, Western Poems.
Kiskaddon and Field collaborated on works for the Los Angeles Union Stockyards calendar and the Western Livestock Journal from 1936 to 1942, when she had to stop working to take care of her ailing parents and her children. In 1949 they renewed their partnership. Kiskaddon died in 1950 and had written six-month’s worth of poems in advance. Field illustrated them all before her own death in 1951.The two never met in person.
Find more in the Kiskaddon features at CowboyPoetry.com.