In a Sow’s Ear
May 21, 2007
Several times in recent weeks I’ve received a humorous essay about a yuppie and a cowboy via e-mail. While the story is funny, it’s also one of those painful truths. If you haven’t had the dubious pleasure of hearing the joke, here’s a version of the yarn in verse form.
To make it in ranching these here days, you gotta branch out in particular ways;
Monty Montana owned a truly fine spread;
Ran cows and sheep
on the old homestead.
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One sunny morning he rode in the pasture
Checking his herd for potential disaster;
Testing the fences,
making them tight,
When over the hill on the road to his right
Roared a BMW in a cloud of dust;
The driver braked and eyed with lust
The herd of critters scattered around,
Munching lunch on the grassy ground.
“Howdy,” said Monty,
and he couldn’t help staring
At the spiffy clothing the feller was wearing;
Hundred dollar sunglasses hid his peepers,
His sophisticated suit was a fashion leader.
A hand-painted tie adorned his shirt;
Just to look at this vision
made the eyes hurt,
And then he spoke
with a patronizing smirk,
“Cowboy, are you doing cowboy work?”
Monty allowed as how that might be true;
The stranger then said,
“Here’s what I’ll do,
I’ll guess how many cows and calves
you have in your herd.
If I’m right, will you give me a calf?”
Monty chewed on a grass stem and pondered,
“Ya mean them four-leggedcritters yonder?
Well, sure,” Monty said calmly. “Why not?”
Just how many cows d’ya think I got?”
The Stranger pulled out a computer, and
A cell phone hooked to the Internet,
and a satellite navigation system,
And got a location fix with a scan.
And a high resolution color photo
That’d tell him what he wanted to know;
All stored in world-wide techy bases
That house all that technological data.
The Stranger printed a full-color report
Of a 150 pages or more;
He turned to Monty and solemnly said,
“Here’s the exact number of head
of cattle you have in yonder herd.”
Monty just sat and said nary a word.
“You have 1,586 Cows and calves.
Now do I get my pick?”
“Well,” said Monty, “you’re surely right,
Take one of my calves, I won’t fight.”
The Stranger selected a calf with a star,
And stuffed it into the trunk of his car.
Then Monty drawled, “Mister, a quiz,
If I tell you what your business is,
Will you give me back my little calf?”
“Okay, why not?” the Stranger laughed.
“You’re a Congressman
for the U.S. Government”
The Stranger stared
with a look of wonderment.
“Wow! That’s correct! How did you guess?”
“No guessing required.” Monty confessed.
“You showed up, though you weren’t invited;
You want paid for an answer I already knew
To a question I darned sure never asked.
And backed it up with made-up facts.”
“You tried to show me how much smarter
Than me you truly think you are, Sir.
And about these cows that you’re all agog ”
Now give me back my dog.”