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Cowboys and Wimmenfolk

Christmas Eve Surrender
December 6, 2022
Mellowed By Time
December 21, 2022

It seems romance of one kind or another is sprinkled throughout the pages of western novels and on the big silver screen.  There's an abundance of fantasy-romance and heroic deeds infused in the stories of the cattle drives and the lonely months of hardship and adventure encountered while pushin' horns north. But rarely, even when back home on the ranch, did that romance involve courtship, wooing serious lady-friends or, least of all, marriage.  A cowboy didn't typically have a sweetheart to leave behind in Texas when he headed up the trail. Cowboying was a life devoid of serious female relationships for a couple of reasons. A cowboy didn't earn enough money to support a bride and family and there were almost never enough women to go around even if a cowboy aspired to such romancing. 

Cowboys and Wimmenfolk

Life was lonely on a cattle-drive
Entertainment was sparse for sure
Companions were critters and smelly men
Whose fragrance oft' resembled manure

The scarcity of any wimmenfolk
Made cowboys naturally protective
Of the women so sparse out in the west
Cowboy courtin' was not too selective

When young Newt rode into Ogallala
After enduring long weeks on the trail
He toured the main street a sightseein'
While some of the cattle went up for sale

The shops offered purt' near anything
A driftin' cowboy could dream
But Newt was headed to the hotel
Hearing it had that rare dessert, ice cream

As he stopped to tie at the hitchin rail
He heard female gigglin' up above
Quickly glancing skyward he beheld
A most beautiful vision of soiled dove

He was dumbstruck by her rare pretty
At first he could only but stare
Then realizin' he was being rude
Hat doffed, "Afternoon ma'am", did he declare

She greeted him with a sparkling smile
Then giggled just enough to tease
Newt set his hat back on his head
Shyly feelin' a whole bunch'a unease

Newt had no experience with wimmenfolk
So he'd no clue what he should do next
He couldn't bring himself to look at her
He'd just never felt quite so perplexed

Suddenly he got an inspiration
Rememberin' what ladies adore
Flowers were a guaranteed gift
By which wimmenfolk always set store

"Ma'am I'm sorry if this is too forward
But if you can just wait there a few?
I'll be right back in no time a'tall
There's something needs doin' for you

Without waiting for an answer
Newt galloped a hurry outta town
He went serious posey huntin' since
Earlier he'd seen wildflowers on the ground

Ten minutes later he raced back
Having met up with a friend along the road
Seein' two ladies had joined her
Newt felt so nervous he might explode

But he'd set out on something to be done
So he was gonna follow it through
Jumping up Newt stood on his saddle
"Here ma'am, these goldenrod are just for you"

"Oh you're so sweet, they're just beautiful
Thank you very much kind sir
I’ll remember you when I sleep tonight"
Now what in tarnation did that infer?

Totally confused and embarrassed
Newt looked to his friend for help
Who only laughed out loud sayin’,
"You go figure it out young whelp"

Newt dropped back down onto his mare
Inadvertently raking her flank with a spur
Causing that mare to jump and bolt away
Relieving Newt's discomfort in a blur

He never saw that fair lady again
But he held on to her pretty blonde face
Dreamin’ all the way to Montana where
A sodbuster's daughter soon took her place

By, Rik Goodell
© 2022

Thank you Gregory Mayse for permission to post your painting here alongside the poem it inspired.

To see more of his work, visit his website: https://www.gregorymayse.com/


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