There's a touch of autobiography in this poem. The artist calls this painting “A Thousand Pounds of Nasty" and that is precisely the way
I saw myself into my twenties. Fortunately for me, there were three, generous men who saw something in me at critical times and invested their time and talent to bring me towards my best self. I shall be forever grateful to John Reynolds, Bill Clayton and Harry Easton.
Drawin' Two Of A Kind
"Evenin’ Mr. Mac, got a minute to spare?
I have something on my heart to say
This won’t take long, it's either yes or no
What? No Sir, it ain’t about my pay"
"I’d like to buy that roan Boss
That strawberry that everyone has rejected
Ya know, the feisty mare named Chancy
The one so rank she’s been neglected"
'Have ye gone completely daft Lad?
She's the meanest broomtail of the lot
Do ye ken the men that sorry mare's laid up?
She's long past due for the gluepot"
"You're right Sir, she’s the nastiest of ‘em all
Bein’ a fair man I knew you’d figure I’d lost it
And I do appreciate your askin’ why
So I’ll explain my reasons if'n you’ll permit"
"When she ended up in my string
Let’s just say she wasn’t my first draw
I well knew her hellion reputation
But it come down to her or another outlaw"
"I can tell from all her five or six brands
That this ain’t exactly her first outfit
But I really ain’t bein’ foolish Boss
See, she and I have become close-knit"
"Third day out on the Goodnight Loving
Cookie was puttin’ out the breakfast fire
I walked her away from the cavvy some
Just in case, knowin’ she’d go all haywire"
"I cinched her with a slip knot to her hind leg
After gettin’ her saddle and hackamore set
Then dreadin’ n’ stallin’, puttin’ on m’chaps
Standin' on her lead rope I mulled her threat"
"I won’t lie Sir, she tossed and bucked all hellish
It ain't been no different any other morning
She might just be the snortiest cayuse ever
Still, cain’t say she didn’t come without a warning"
"But the real truth be told Mr. Mac
That horse has endless bottom and heart
Once I got past all her snorty and ornery
I seen she’s right savvy and mighty cow-smart"
"Fact is I started neglectin’ the rest of my string
I’d ride Chancy twice as much as the others
Bein's before we reached Cheyenne
If she was rested I picked her for my druthers"
"Don’t mean to get all sappy Sir
But I reckon you deserve the whole book
See, she reminds me so much of me
It’s as if a page from my life she took"
"I too grew up a’driftin’ around the west
Orphaned, I’d never been treated kind
Of course I turned to rebellin’ ornery
M’life was a never-ending, harsh grind"
"I only did what seemed right back then
I became a man on steady defense
When someone came at me to rule
Hittin’ harder and meaner only made sense"
"My perspective was to knock everyone down
Don’t give ‘em a chance to get to me
Whatever abuse anyone came up with
I fast gave it back times three"
"I’ll never understand why you gambled
By takin’ a chance and hirin’ me Boss
But when you dragged me outta that saloon
I swore it would not be your loss"
"All y’all treated me just like family
Which was something I’d never had
I began to see some good in life
Especially when I didn’t treat folks so bad"
"I think Chancy deserves a chance Sir
I wanna do her real good like you done me
Just maybe she’ll come round to bein’ proper
Doggone Sir, stranger things have come to be"
“That’s quite a story you’re tellin’ Son
Provin’ my efforts took hold"
"You don’t need to buy her lad", Mac said
She’s yours, as a gift, not sold”
by Rik Goodell
© 2021. All rights reserved
I continue to be grateful for the generosity of the
Price family in agreeing to allow me to post a copy of
their painting alongside my work.
See more of this artist's work at