COWBOY POETRY: Oatmeal

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 remember all those years ago when I was just a lad. Mom always cooked us breakfast, and my place was next to Dad.

He made us eat what she had fixed. We weren’t allowed to whine. But when it came to oatmeal, that is where I drew the line.

To me there was no question why some folks called it gruel. If you really think about that name, it sounds a lot like cruel.

One day my father came to me and said, “Let’s make a deal. I’ll give you this old saddle if you’ll eat your danged oatmeal!

You can have your pick of bridles or any tack in here. But you’ll have to eat your oatmeal for, let’s say, at least a year.”

It sounded like a deal to me. But I knew their real intent. If I ate that goo for one full year, they hoped that I’d relent.

The day that long year started, Mom made oatmeal, wouldn’t you know. I gagged that vile stuff down so fast, my dad said, “What a show!”

I figured out a lot of ways to get that oatmeal down. I even added chocolate chips. That made my mother frown.

“Those chips were meant for cookies!” And she grabbed them in a rush. But they sure improved the taste of that gooey, grayish mush.

For one full year I ate those oats. It seemed like every day. And never did I whine or cry. It was time to get my pay.

I told my dad our year was up. But I had some concern. ‘Cuz the thought of eating oatmeal still made my stomach churn.

He looked at me and said, “Well son, I see you got it done. You took the challenge for a year. You struggled but you won.

If it really tastes that bad to you, don’t eat it anymore. And run this by your mother. I’ll let that be your chore.”

Well it’s been more than fifty years. I still have my old saddle. But try and push oatmeal my way. You’ll have yourself a battle.

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