In a Sow’s Ear
A friend sent me something found on the Internet: “Ranch Wife Guidelines 101.” My friend thought I’d written the piece because it reminded her of my book, “The Ranch Woman’s Manual.” Both the Guidelines and the Manual deal with the same subjects ” life on the ranch from the ranch wife’s wry-eyed perspective.
I’d like to pass along Guidelines verbatim, but that might be called plagiarism. So I’ll put some of the 101 tips in verse form.
Basic Advice to Gals Considering
Matrimony to a Cowboy
He kisses you on a moonlit night,
He says, on the very first date,
“Hey, Li’l Gal, you’re my delight,
Will you be my loving mate?”
And he carries you off to his wild west ranch,
With horses, cattle and hogs;
And you commence to learn what to do
With livestock and three collie dogs.
To load your own horse last in the trailer
So you can unload first;
Then pull up your cinch, mount up quick,
Be ready when he sets his spurs.
Not to believe it when your cowboy claims,
“It’ll just be a little while,”
When he asks for help with a ranching chore,
And gives you his cowboy smile.
Four hours later, your hands will be sore
From holding the end of the rope
Attached to a snot-throwing, foot-rot cow,
Your cowboy is trying to dope.
When your cowboy invites you
along for a ride,
And gives you a smile as bait,
It’s not because he’s being romantic,
He needs you to open the gates.
If you should lose a stray in the brush
Your cowboy thinks you’re defective
But if he should lose a bull up a draw
It’s because that bull’s too active.
When feeding cattle in the winter,
Choose the job in back;
Let him drive or you may experience
Comments on what you lack .
Like reliable eyesight, driving skill,
And failure to maintain speed;
But if you’re the designated driver,
Let deafness become your creed.
And if your cowboy sorts cattle horseback,
And you’re in the alley, when
He shoves 20 head of yearlings
At you and hollers, “Hold them!”
Climb out of the alley and walk back home,
No need for explanation;
And ponder where you want to go,
When you take your ranch vacation .
To count the cattle through the gates,
And count them out again;
And count the sheep, the hogs and chickens
No matter where you’ve been.
When out of the house you become
The instant hired hand;
There is no paycheck attached to that,
And you’ll sure need lots of sand.
But you needn’t worry about job security,
Cuz you’re the only one;
The very best help your cowboy has
To get the ranch jobs done.
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