‘Twas The Night Before Christmas: Stockman Style

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the farm,

Not a creature was stirring, in shop or in barn;

975b9aa512412d79f8322d8f597fde6c

The halters were hung along the barn beams with care,

In hopes that a new heifer calf soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of blue ribbons danced in their heads;

And Mama in her wool socks, and I in my flannel,

Had just settled down to begin surfing some channels;

When out in the barn lot there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the recliner to see what was the matter;

Away to the window I snuck over to see,

Drew up the blinds, and knelt down on one knee;

The moon so bright I could see plain as day,

The cows had gotten out and were heading for silage and hay;

altacedar

Then, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But real life cowboy, wielding wrangling gear;

He, an old but alert roper, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be Cowboy Vick;

cowboy-images-006

More rapid than eagles his lasso he aimed,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now Rosewood! Now Lady! Now Rhonda and Minnie!

On Flossie! On Monica! Corona and Penny!”

“To the gate of the feed floor! To the north end of the pen!

Move your sound-footed legs and behind fences get in!”

A stampede of heifers and cows, knowing they’d done bad,

Soon met Cowboy Vick and all knew he was mad;

east-river

So up to the double gate the coursers they walked,

And to keep them off the highway, Vick and his horse blocked;

And then in a twinkling, I saw through the snow,

The single file line of bovine did go;

Cowboy Vick latched the gate, and was turning around,

He jumped back on his horse and came with a bound;

He was dressed all in leather, from his hat to his boot,

And his clothes were all tarnished from the working chute;

8531429_2

A bundle of barbed wire and twine was flung on his back,

And he looked like a fence builder just opening his pack;

His eyes – how they twinkled! His dimples how merry,

His cheeks were like roses, from the wind of the prairie;

imag0339

His droll little mouth was drawn up from a chew,

And the scar on his chin told a story no one knew;

The length of a rope he held tight in his teeth,

And blowing snow encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face, and broad shoulders, too,

And his pearl snap shirt was quite far from brand new;

He was rugged and worn, an intriguing old man,

His skin was like leather, from the sun it was tan;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

5ffc413e9b00845dadc43caa26f07daa

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And did a head count of cows; then turned with a jerk;

And laying his hand aside of his horse,

And giving a nod, I knew he proved quite a force;

He sprung to the saddle, to his horse gave a whistle,

And away they both fled, like the down of a thistle;

il_570xn-520312642_132v

But I heard him exclaim, as he rode out of sight-
“Latch the gate next time, and to all a good night!”