Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life.  Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

I grew up wearing cowboy boots. They’re all I ever had. And all our neighbors wore them, too. They were not just a fad. A necessity is what they were. We wore them every day. They kept us in our saddles, and they kept the snakes away.

My parents always told me, “Make sure your boots are on. And watch out for those rattlesnakes! One bite, you could be gone.” So I wore my boots while bucking hay and always rolled each bale. But I never ever saw a snake, or heard a rattling tail.

We needed boots for riding. No reason to complain. But walking was another thing. With that I felt some pain. The heels were surely made to last, and each step came down hard. The more I walked, the more I felt my whole foot being jarred.

Well, then one day my dad came home with brand new tennis shoes. I never thought that sneakers would be the kind that he would choose. Those bright blue sneakers on his feet made me wonder. Is it true? Could my own dad, who ne’er complained, have had some sore feet, too?

The years had taught me Dad was close with money that he spent. Now that I’m grown, I heed his words: “Account for every cent.” Well, Merkle’s Store had shoes on sale. The price was two for one. It was a deal. I took the bait. I am my father’s son.

I laced the first pair nice and tight. I thought I looked real cool. But then I opened my front door and soon felt like a fool, ‘cuz when old Hap first spotted me, his growl was meant to warn. He promptly bit those brand new shoes and chewed till they were torn.

I made it through the open door and shut it on old Hap. He barked and yipped, and ran away. I sure felt like a sap. My good wife took a look at me. She laughed, and then she said, “You’re really gonna wear those things?” My face flushed crimson red.

Well, now I’m wearing boots again. I took the sneakers back. No matter how the soft shoes felt, they were not worth the flack. So if your feet are killing you, go down to Merkle’s Store. They have a pair of tennis shoes I’ll swear I never wore.

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