Baxter Black: Ad seeking real cowboy prompts thought about the meaning of life on the range
WANTED: Cowboy. No TV, no phone. If you don’t like dogs and can’t tough it in the mountains, don’t apply – Alamo, Nev.
I’d like to meet the ol’ boy who wrote that ad. You can almost picture him in your mind. We’re all acquainted with somebody that fits his description. He might be willing to give you a month off to go see your ailin’ mother but better not ask for every Saturday and Sunday off to go ropin’!
He’s not liable to set down and give you a two hour lecture on his range management theories but work beside him for a year or two and you’ll learn more about protecting the environment and workin’ with nature than you’d read in thousand Bureau of Land Management pamphlets.
He probably wouldn’t have much sympathy if you bucked off one of his colts but if yer wife’s in the hospital he’ll make sure you have everything you need.
He’d look the other way if you got picked up by the deputy for gettin’ rowdy in town but if you don’t get the salt scattered in the right place there’ll be heck to pay!
The person that answers that ad ought to know better than to set down and start askin’ about paid holidays, days off, cost of living escalators and a five-year contract. However, if I don’t miss my guess, he’ll get a day’s pay for a day’s work, good grub, a warm bunk and that kind of “family feelin’” that comes with cowboyin’.
There’s plenty of good hands that could answer that ad and fit right in. If he gits the job, you can bet yer silver snuff can lid he’s a cowboy.
A reporter asked me awhile back if I was a cowboy. I said no. That name is reserved for them that make their livin’ punchin’ cows. It didn’t bother me to be mistaken for a cowboy, matter of fact I’m proud of it.
But that honor belongs to that particular feller who gits up everyday, puts on his spurs and goes to work.
Them that writes “COWBOY” in the blank space after ‘occupation’ on the IRS form; they’re what I’m talkin’ about. Real cowboys — the backbone of the cattle business.❖
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