Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentine's Tale

Jack Potter's Courtin'
Now young Jack Potter was a man who knowed the ways of steers.
From bur-nests in their hairy tails to ticks that chawed their ears.
A Texican and cowhand, to the saddle bred and born,
He could count a trail herd on the move and never miss a horn.
But one day on a tally, back in eighteen- eighty-four,
He got to acting dreamy, and he sure did miss the score.
The Trail Boss knowed the symptoms. "Jack you ain't no good like this.
I'll give you just ten days to go and find what is amiss!"
A "miss" was just what ailed him, for he'd fell in love for sure
With a gal named Cordie Eddy, mighty purty, sweet and pure.
So now Jack rode a hundred miles, a-sweatin' with the thought
Of sweetsome words to ask her with, the way a fella ought.
"I'm just a humble cowhand, Miss Cordie, if you please,
That hereby asks your heart and hand, upon my bended knees!."
It sounded mighty simple thus rehearsed upon the trail.
But when he come to Cordie's house, his words all seemed to fail.
'Twas "Howdy, ma'am, and how's the crops? And "How's your pa and ma?"
For when it came to askin' her, he couldn't come to taw.

He took her to a dance one night. The hoss she rode was his.
"He's a dandy little hoss," she says. "Well, yep," says Jack, "he is."
They rode home late together and the moon was ridin' high,
And Jack, he got to talkin' 'bout the stars up in the sky,
And how they'd guide a trail herd like they do sea-goin' ships.
But words of love and marriage-- they just wouldn't pass his lips!
So he spoke about the pony she was ridin', and he said:
"You'll note he's fancy-gaited, and don't n ever fight his head."
"He's sure a little dandy," she agrees, and heaves a sigh.
Jack says, "Why you can have him -- that is-- maybe-- when I die."
He figgered she might savvy what he meant or maybe guess,
And give him that sweet answer which he longed for, namely, "yes."
But when they reached the ranch house, he was still a-wonderin' how
He would ever pop the question, and he had to do it now.
Or wait and sweat and suffer till the drive was done that fall,
When maybe she'd be married, and he'd lose her after all.
He put away her saddle, led his pony to the gate:
"I reckon I'll be driftin', ma'am. It's gittin' kinder late."
Her eyes was bright as starlight, and her lips looked sweet as flow'rs.
Says Jack, "Now, this here pony-- is he mine, or is he ours?"
"Our pony, Jack!" she answered, and her voice was soft as moss.
Then Jack, he claims he kissed her - - but she claims he kissed the hoss!
© 1966, S. Omar Barker, from Rawhide Rhymes

 Kiss someone you love today! Or a hug will do, too.

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