Baxter Black: The Lipstick and the Spur

Enjoy the wit and wisdom of the cowboy poet and ex-veterinarian Baxter Black.
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Enjoy the wit and wisdom of the cowboy poet and ex-veterinarian Baxter Black.

It's a dangerous combination...the lipstick and the spur.
She had her eye on business and I had my eye on her.
It's not like you could miss her as she rode in the corral,
The rest of us were ravaged in appearance and morale.

For six days we'd been ridin' every inch of Gilbert's place.
The springtime wind was bitter, always hit us in the face.
The cook's camp coals were glowin' from the constant bellows wind.
Both the steak and cherry cobbler was burnt as black as sin.

A week of never bathin' and a'cussin' every step
Had led us to this brandin' pen, dog dirty and unkept.
But the day broke warm and sunny, we hoped not counterfeit,
So when she rode into us, well, we all perked up a bit.

Ol' Bucker shook a loop out and he snagged a couple hooves.
The bawlin' calf came draggin', Bucker showin' off his moves
But the flanker muffed his timing and never got a grip,
A foot came loose and Bucker let his single dally slip.

The calf just went to floppin' like a trout out on the bank
Then saw a little daylight underneath the horse's flank.
Ol' Bucker tossed his slack rope down to keep from getting' hung
But they hit the ground together, one half-hocked and one hamstrung.

Then Owens roped another calf and made it to the fire
And sat there till the odor of a burnin' rubber tire
Assailed his tender nostrils, then he heard ol' Billy yell
"Git out the way there, Owens, 'cause this brandin's gone to hell!"

He'd accidently roped a cow. Ol' Bill was good at that.
She took it kinda pers'nal and became an acrobat.
His dally horn was smokin' when he let the mother go.
She hit poor Owens' blindside, like a charging buffalo.

Then Chuck, he caught a little one and put it through the fence.
The pen filled up with ropers, competition was intense.
Don, Red, Fred, Kim and Gordie flat missed sixteen in a row
The ground crew got to yawnin' 'cause the action was so slow.

At last a voice so gentle and so sympathetic came,
It sounded like an angel as it quietly declaimed
"I've got a small suggestion if it's not against the code
I can git a couple cowboys from the dairy down the road."

The silence woke the fence posts. Every cowboy stared at her.
"Would you care to rope one, darlin'?" The boss asked, fairly sure.
She rode into the corner and she didn't wear a hat,
Her sweatshirt said 'Kiss Chris LeDoux', her horse was kinda fat.

She slid in nice and easy like a crafty coyote hunts
And sure as God's my witness, she roped two calves at once!
The inside leg of each one. How she did it I don't know.
Just luck, the way I see it. But it doesn't matter, though.

She took her slack and dallied, it was hard not to admire,
She jerked just once and downed 'em and drug 'em to the fire.
We waited there dumbfounded-like, the ground crew makin' hay
While the girl politely held'em like she did it every day.

We sat in handmade saddles with rawhide plaited reins
And felt the cowboy varnish a'dribblin' from our veins
But Tony summed it all up for us real buckaroos.
"Ya know, the top hand at this brandin' is wearin' tennis shoes."

There's a lesson in there somewhere about the other sex
If we could just enforce it we'd prevent a lot of wrecks.
To safeguard the equality of cowboy chromosomes
We should ask the double x's to leave their ropes at home.

For more from this cowboy poet, visit BaxterBlack.com.