In a Sow’s Ear
I’m about to put the completed manuscript of a book into the mail. It will be published by Voyageur Press in time for Christmas. (Yes, that’s a hint). It’s a book on the vicissitudes, tribulations, fun, hilarious happenings as well as the deep satisfaction of being a country woman. The publisher is kicking around several titles, the latest being: “Sidekick Savvy ” Surviving and Thriving as a Country Woman.” Got any clever thoughts on titles? I’d like to hear ’em.
Most of the book is a reprint of “The Ranch Woman’s Manual” but with new material added. Such as the poem I wrote some 15 years ago ” maybe more ” about hired hands ” the odd characters, not the hardworking ranch and farm hands I’ve known over the years.
Now ranch hands often have spirits
Free of normal rules;
They drift around from ranch to ranch
Working where they choose.
This season starts with Slobberin’ Joe,
The moniker he earned
By seldom closing his mouth to chew;
A napkin always spurned.
The food hangs up betwixt his teeth,
So worn, they should be floated;
When Joe says nicely, “Please pass the peas,”
On the spray I could’ve boated.
Then Slobberin’ Joe decides to quit,
And we hire Mr. Gripe;
“If only” are his favorite words,
(Of course you know the type).
He’d irrigate “if only” we had
Sprinklers instead of a ditch;
He’d clean the barn “if only” his poor
Weak back would let him pitch.
He’d surely stack those bales of hay
“If only” he hadn’t been hurt
A-ridin’ rank ol’ broncs, why then
His energy would spurt!
Next my husband hires a Watcher,
(You all know what that means);
A watcher watches while you work,
No soil on his blue jeans.
The Watcher draws his final pay,
My husband heads for town;
He’s desperate for dependable help “
(The turnover’s getting me down).
Hubby stops in Sam’s Saloon
And hires a husky fellow;
Sven Svenson is his name,
His manner’s mild and mellow.
Now Sven, though good with sheep and cows
Can’t deal with humankind;
From time to time he hits the bottle,
And totally loses his mind.
Though nutty as a peanut cup,
Old Sven would never harm,
But in the bar, he strips buck-naked,
For him, the funny farm.
The next feller’s hired over the phone,
My spouse is too busy to go;
So I volunteer to pick up Willie,
My spirits are pretty darned low.
Willie’s been waiting at Sam’s Saloon
And getting his whistle wet;
He crawls in the pickup, I strap him in,
Oh, my, but he reeks of sweat.
As I slide behind the driver’s wheel,
I hear my name called out;
It isn’t Willie, he’s busy singing “
(He’s a cheery sort of lout).
I cringe when I see who’s coming my way “
Mrs. Super Rancher “
She’s perfectly groomed, not a hair out of place,
I’ve never been able to stand her.
She gaily lilts, “Hello, my dear,”
As she nears the passenger side,
And Willie’s grin widens some more,
He invites her for a ride.
Wrinkling her nose, Mrs. Super ignores
Willie whose face has turned green;
She asks would I bake some cookies for Club
As Willie upchucks his beans.
The side of the truck takes a nasty bath,
And sprinkles Mrs. S.;
As I head for home with Willie passed out,
I’m grinning, I confess.
Now hired men come in lots of shapes
And styles and cut of jibs;
And if I said I liked ’em all,
Why, I’d be tellin’ fibs.
But when a Willie comes along,
It’s worth it, is my hunch,
To see how Mrs. Super looks
When Willie upchucks lunch.
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