COWBOY POETRY: Tough Old Coot

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.

Marvin and my father were best friends from years way back.  They’d both nicknamed each other.  Marv was Fred, my father Jack.  

Well, Fred was late at hunting camp.   He’d walked behind his mare.  He knew her disposition but so tired he didn’t care.  

The old mare’s ears were laid straight back.  Fred didn’t have time to see.  Her kick was swift and made its mark, one inch above his knee.

Fred knew he had a broken leg.  He’d felt it snap in two.  ‘Twas a terrible predicament but knew what he must do.   

He wished right then he had his gun to fire a warning shot.  The men at camp would find him.  He would not be left to rot.  

His thoughts were ‘bout the old cowboy, bucked off one winter night.  They found him frozen by a tree.  Fred vowed, “I’m gonna fight.” 

And then his memory took him back to when he worked on ship.  He’d slipped and fell some thirty feet.  He said he’d lost his grip.  

Both legs and ankles broken.  Doctors said, “You’ll never walk.”   But Fred knew well he’d walk again, ignored that kind of talk.  

He started with a wheelchair, then on crutches right away.  It wasn’t long ‘fore he could walk.  He beat the odds, you’d say.

So, how could he get on this horse, pain stabbing like a knife.  The witch that tried to kill him would now have to save his life.  

He tied a splint around his leg and hobbled to a rock.  Then grabbed the horn and pulled on up.  She didn’t even balk.

The darkness made it tough to see.  Fred gave the mare her head.  He knew she’d find her way to camp, back home where she’d be fed.  

Fred thought about his best friend, Jack, who wouldn’t wait too long.    He’d be saddled up, and on the trail, to find out what’s gone wrong. 

Well, Jack was waiting there at camp and worried ‘bout his friend.  They’d been best friends for all their lives.  Now was Fred at his end?

 Fred thought he smelled the campfire smoke, then saw a flashlight glare.  The mare had brought him back to camp.  He wondered, “Are we square?”

When Fred rode up Jack hollered out, “You dang old worn out boot!  Two hours late, a broken leg.   You’re sure one tough old coot!” 

Well, Fred was laid up six long months.  He said it felt like ten.  But not a soul could keep him down.  Fred up and walked again. 

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