by Andy Nelson

Daron showed up at the local coffee shop,
Like he does on Sunday mornings;
But this time looking like a lion tamer,
Who had failed to heed the warnings.

His forearms and fingers were scraped, scratched, and scabbed,
Like he had choked a weed-eater;
He confessed he felt as if he had fallen,
Into a giant egg-beater.

The story shared was not a glamorous one,
Like fighting a moose with a bat;
Turns out that Daron had a wrestling match,
With his daughter’s 4-H show cat.

Riley grew bored of the regular projects,
The kind that were raised on the range;
So, she asked her dad if this year she could take,
One of their barn cats for a change.

Anxious to teach her the value of livestock,
Daron opted to acquiesce;
Ol’ Fluffball would be her 4-H show kitty,
And he cursed the day he said yes.

Fluff was as homely as a two-track dirt road,
For a barn cat, he was quite tame;
He looked like he crossed with an angora goat,
And built on a jackrabbit’s frame.

But after a little of Mama’s shampoo,
And some Aqua-Velva for smell;
Fluff was ready for the county fair show ring,
Daron for a foray in Hell.

The encounter started quite innocently,
Until Fluff succumbed to the shakes,
It went downhill like a Radio Flyer,
Full of fat kids, without any brakes.

Poor ol’ Fluffball was a heckuva mouser,
But he had never been to town;
So, when prodded by feline arbitrators,
That is when the fracas went down.

Fluff squirmed like a bobcat in a gunny sack,
Daron leapt to save his daughter;
Logic was obliterated by instincts,
He dove head-long in the slaughter.

Certain he could “cowboy” his way through this,
He grabbed Fluff by the scruff of the neck;
While most cats go limp, Fluffball went ballistic,
Spawning a spectacular wreck.

It looked like he clutched a runaway grinder,
Armed with razor-sharp teeth and claws;
As he fought to get a grip with his off hand,
He was distracted by applause.

A crowd had gathered to witness the showdown,
They thought someone was boxing a bear;
One guy screamed, “This is the best entertainment
we have ever had at the fair!”

While agreeing to sign autographs after,
Daron plunged back into the bout;
Applying a feline MMA choke hold,
Hoping the kitty would tap out.

Fluff finally agreed to forfeit the match,
After Daron ran out of blood;
Light headed and woozy, they slunk to the truck,
And rolled down the lane in the mud.

The ride home was uneventful and quiet,
Unlike the preceding cat show;
Fluffball is in counseling and therapy,
And Daron is healing up slow.

Everything’s back to normal on the home place,
Next time, Riley’s taking a steer;
But the fair board is now struggling to find,
A more thrilling act for next year.

© 2019, Andy Nelson
This poem should not be re-posted or reprinted without permission.

Pinedale, Wyoming’s Andy Nelson is a second-generation farrier, cowboy poet, emcee, humorist, rodeo announcer, and co-host, with his brother Jim, of the popular syndicated Clear Out West (C.O.W.) radio show.

This poem was inspired by a story told by Wyoming cowboy and songwriter Daron Little. When we asked about the poem, Daron Little replied, “The events of said poem truly happened.”

Andy Nelson’s recent CD is Uncle Charlie and the Squeeze Chute of Death. He’s at work on a book of poems. At, find more about him and his other books and CDs and see his schedule–which includes the 7th Annual C.O.W. Cruise, June 16-27, 2019, to Alaska, with the special added attraction of Dave Stamey.

See the C.O.W. radio archives and tune in at The show is now available by podcast.

As Daron Little’s web site bio tells, he “…cowboys for a living on the TA Ranch north of Saratoga Wyoming…Daron lives in a house full of women with his wife and three daughters, which is probably poetic justice.”

Check out Daron Little’s new album, Support Your Local Cowpuncher, and find much more about him and his music at

Photo courtesy of Daron Little, by Jan Sewell.

(Please respect copyright. You can share this poem and photo with this post, but for other uses, request permission.)