Friday, September 11, 2009






John Duncklee

                                                                                                                                                                                 Chico was a cowboy, the only trade he knew

He rode in to my camp one day, from then our friendship grew


His home was down in Mexico, where the Rio Yaqui flows, but he

crossed the "line" when just eighteen with his saddle and his clothes


He'd heard they needed mountain hands to tie the wild ones down

He found his way to Tucson and wandered through the town


Before the day was over he had joined up with a crew

And headed for the mountains the kind of country that he knew


The boss cut out five horses, and told him where to ride

pointing out the canyons where the wild ones liked to hide


Chico used his rawhide well, and threw it without fear

not caring if his partner was far away or near


He'd bust the wild ones every day, and bring them in alone

at the end of his old rawhide rope,  'till he became well-known


He was the toughest of the mountain hands that tied the wild ones down

and he'd ride for months in the mountains,  never seein' town


One day he found an old black steer a hidin' in a draw

with one horn up and one horn down,  he threw rawhide before he saw


The look the old steer had in his eye, a look he'd seen before

in the eye of a brindle bull one day,  so he knew what was in store


The rawhide sung and found its mark around the black steer's horn

then all hell broke loose as the black steer charged through the cactus

trees and thorn


The steer kept comin' straight at his horse and hit him in the chest

The upturned horn ripped through his hide and tore in to his flesh


The horse went down and Chico fell, as the old black steer turned back

to take another run at them,  and he heard his leg bones crack


The horse got up, and with the steer, they both ran far away

They found Chico with both legs broke, in the morning the next day


Chico healed and soon got back to tyin' the wild ones down

until there no more wild ones left,  and he wandered back to town


The day he rode in to my camp he'd turned eighty the month before, and through the blurr of time,  he remembered the wild ones once more


He'd ride with me rememberin' the times he'd tied the wild ones down

He told me of the old black steer, and the times he'd had in town


He rode with me for near two years, ridin' herd on three hundred head

Then one mornin' as we saddled up, I looked over and he was dead.


The day he died was sad for me, I said good bye to my best friend

The little man from Mexico, who threw his rawhide to the end.






No comments:

Post a Comment