American Legend: horse sense

October 21, 2020

This story comes from American Folklore and Legend by Reader’s Digest. The word’s and images are not mine…

Tales Told On The Trail…

The men who drove cattle hundreds of miles to market had few creature comforts while on the trail. Whiskey and the flickering warmth of the nighttime campfire were about all they had. After the herd had been bedded down the men would frequently gather and swap tales and songs. A man with a rich imagination and a gift for spinning yarns was a welcome addition to any outfit. Sometimes, these stories came out of experience, but often times they were “tall tales”…one such tale you may have heard of is Pecos Bill or maybe even Paul Bunyan and his ox, Babe. Here is another tale…

Hope you enjoy!

“You never can tell what a buffalo will do when he’s been eating grapes,” concludes one humorous yarn told to a greenhorn.

“I owned an ol’ horse one time that was about the dumbest critter I ever did see. I’ll tell yuh [you] what that fool horse did one night when I drunk too much likker [liquor] and passed out in town.
He picked me up and slung me on his back and carried me 20 miles to the ranch. When he got me there, he pulled off my boots with his teeth and nosed me into my bunk. Then he went to the kitchen, fixed up a pot of coffee, and brung me a cup all fixed up with cream and sugar. Then the next day I had a hangover, and he went out all by hisself and dug post holes all day so the boss would let me sleep. When I woke up and found out what that fool horse had done, I cussed him for two days without stoppin’ and wished ‘im off on a greener [greenhorn] which was passin’ by”
“I’d say that was a pretty smart horse,” replied a listener. “Why in the world did you get rid of him?”
“Smart, heck! Who ever heard of a real cowboy usin’ cream and sugar in his coffee? No wonder I had sich [such] a turrible [terrible] hangover!”

The Old Chisholm Trail

  • Well, come along boys and listen to my tale
    I’ll tell you of my troubles on the Old Chisholm Trail
    Come a ti yi yippi yippi yay yippi yay
    Come a ti yi yippi yippi yay
  • A two dollar horse and a forty dollar saddle
    I’m gonna get punchin’ those old Texas cattle
    Come a ti, etc.
  • It’s cloudy in the west and it looks like rai
    And my danged old slicker’s in the wagon train
    Come a ti, etc
  • I jumped in the saddle and grabbed the horn
    I’m the best durned cowboy that ever was born
    Come a ti, etc.

This song was a favorite among 100’s made up by cowboys to pass the time and quiet the herds. The likelihood of a noise-caused nighttime stampede was lessened when cattle were lulled by continual whistling and singing.

Hope you have a great day!
Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Keep your soul clean
and your boots dirty”
~ unknown ~

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stay safe
much love

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