NOT SO SLOW by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)


photo © 2016, Mike Moutoux

by Bruce Kiskaddon (1878-1950)

You have heard some folks say, “He’s as slow as a cow.”
Well, there’s things about cows they don’t know.
If they knowed about cattle, they’d figger somehow,
That there’s times when a cow ain’t so slow.

When a bunch of rough cattle start burnin’ the breeze,
And take off a rough mountain side,
You want a good shore footed hoss ‘twixt your knees
And sand in yore gizzard to ride.

Fer when a old cow starts to rattle her hocks,
She certainly makes a good showin’
She’s a foggin’ the dust and a rollin’ the rocks
And Cow Boy you’d better git goin’.

So when a man sez, “He’s as slow as a cow.”
You can figger by what he has said,
That the hosses he’s seen was hitched to a plow,
And cows was tied under a shed.

…Bruce Kiskaddon, 1937

This poem appeared in the Western Livestock Journal in August, 1937. It was also on a Los Angeles Union Stockyards calendar with an illustration by Katherine Field.

Bruce Kiskaddon worked for ten years as a cowboy, starting in 1898 in southeastern Colorado’s Picketwire area. He published short stories and nearly 500 poems.

Much of what is known about Kiskaddon and his work comes from Open Range, Bill Siems’ monumental collection of Kiskaddon’s poetry. Bill Siems also collected Bruce Kiskaddon’s short stories in a book called Shorty’s Yarns. Find more in the Kiskaddon features at

Find much more about Kiskaddon and many more poems in features at

This photo by New Mexico cowboy, songwriter, poet, entertainer, and photographer Mike Moutoux, was included in a 2016 Picture the West at Mike took it at a spring branding at singer and songwriter Randy Huston’s New Mexico ranch. See all of the images here.

Find more about Mike Moutoux at, including his occasional “Ranch Notes.”