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Respect and Reward

Puppy Ears ‘n Barn Kittens
May 30, 2023
Risk and Reward
June 27, 2023

In Genesis, God gave man dominion over every living thing that moves on the earth. I haven't found it in the Word, but I'm convinced it was in God’s plan that we’d share with dogs and horses a close alliance. He gave us the gift of companionship with these co-working critters. They would not only work alongside us but they would become our close allies, very special friends and, on pretty regular occasion, amazingly valued, two-way partners.

Respect and Reward

She was lost, exhausted and scared
When she stumbled unsteady to my fire
Reins draggin', saddle hangin' sideways
That mare'd seen times mighty dire

Her hock had come out on the losin' end
Of a bad barbed wire dispute
Her eyes looked droopy and dilated
Might'a been eatin' white bitterroot

There was dried blood on top of her neck
Makin' a tangled mess of  her mane
She was breathin' hard and irregular
That was a mare in a lot of pain

Funny how a purpose in a moment
Can give a man reason to go on
See, when that horse first showed up
I hadn't cared about seein' the dawn

She a'course was all-fired skittish
Wouldn't let me close after bein' betrayed
But the familiar glow of my campfire
Had lured her near me seekin' some aid

Offerin' sugar and soft words
Then ignorin' by my back turned
Her strong need for herd companion winnin'
She finally approached through trust earned

I spoke soft, soothin' words a while
Then rubbed gentle-like 'round her ears
Slowly loosenin' that sideways saddle cinch
Helpin to settle her wild-eyed fears

After a time I dressed her wounds
Givin' her torn hock a poultice pack
Of some sage and clay I gathered
Tying cut scraps from a burlap sack

Her saddle bags revealed no clue
As to where she'd been or belonged
But her wounds and bloody mane said
Her rider had been fearsome wronged

Next morning I led her slowly
Back to the ranch, puttin’ her in a stall
Grained her good, to help her heal
She seemed better, 'preciatin' it all

Gatherin’ up a bunch of the boys
We led out a wide hunt for her ride
Back trackin' that mare's wanderin' trail
Comin’ up with no trace of his hide

That mare sure healed up right fast
I led her to town after a week
No one seemed to recognize her
She had no brand; no way to owner-seek

I decided to call her Lucky
An apt enough name for sure
When you consider how she'd been hurt
Fittin' after what she'd had to endure

Lucky came to following me 'round
She shadowed me like friendly pup
As if she was afraid to lose me
Fearin' where she might end up

Well bein' as I’d been a calf roper
'Thought I'd see how she'd rodeo tally
To see if she'd stand good and fast
When, after loopin that calf, I'd dally

To my great joy and reward
She developed to a fine ropin' horse
We won lots of our entries for a spell
Due to our combined teamwork of course

I'd been a pretty lost soul for sure
Before God sent a sorrel into my camp
I was lonely and sorta’ givin' up
But Lucky made me into a champ

These days we're no doubt as close
As any cowboy and horse can be
I believe I probably saved her life
Which is 'bout what she done for me

by Rik Goodell

© 2023 All rights reserved

Thank you Gregory Mayse for once again providing your excellent artwork to accompany my poetry. You've provided a number of fine art pieces to either inspire or flesh-out my rhyming stories.

To see more of Mr. Mayse's work, visit his website:

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