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Recent Stories - Baxter Black

The cost of recycling

June 20, 2019

We try to be faithful recyclers around the house. I make regular runs to town with the pickup full of newspapers, bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard boxes and tin. I take old pipe and steel to...


The cow committee

June 14, 2019

Once upon a time at the start of all creation Angels sat upon a cloud. An odd conglomeration Of buckaroos from near and far but not there from the city. Their job; to build a...


A cowboy parade
A cowboy parade

June 7, 2019

You gotta hand it to cowboys. They can turn a birthday cake into a four-alarm fire! Many years ago the Napa Valley (California) County Fair and Rodeo wanted to do something to attract attention to...


Training new neighbors

May 31, 2019

In rural America, farmers and “rural lifestylers” are often neighbors. Seeking a place to better raise their children, to retire in peace, or to escape the continuing anxiety of the city, they move to the...


Foreign language

May 24, 2019

A medical doctor friend of mine was recounting his experiences in Africa as a volunteer for a church missionary program. He said it was very satisfying for the soul but his biggest problem was communicating...


It’s What I Do

May 17, 2019

A cowboy is the way he is because he works with stock. He’s learned it’s best to ease along To find the rhythm in their song And not to fret if days are long ‘cause...


Three wheel roping

May 10, 2019

I’ve always sorta figgered the reason there is more cowboy poetry than there is farmer poetry has to do with horses. Most cowboy poetry is about wrecks. One person plus one cow equals a wreck...


Backwoods wisdom

April 19, 2019

“Age-in’ a cow is ‘bout the thing I hate most. Seems like they can tell the instant you cross the line into the strike zone.” We all nodded sympathetically with Jeff’s pronouncement. Each cowman in...


Two Jumps

April 12, 2019

Two Jumps said he used to ride bulls. In spite of his name, he tried. He had grit, determination and bravado on his side. Unfortunately, he lacked skill. He was naturally inept And as life...


The Romantic cowboy

April 5, 2019

There’s nothing like an evening of calving to promote the romantic image of the cowboy. Right, ladies? Don invited a nice woman out to his ranch in Alberta for an evening of candlelight, wine and...


90 percent taxes is nothing new

March 29, 2019

This year I’m having a déjà foo. I remember learning in high school social studies that the maximum income tax then was 90 percent. I was stunned! Over the years I watched President Kennedy reduce...


The gift

March 22, 2019

Seems like I ride a lot of borrowed horses. At folks’ ranches or trail rides, ropings or brandings they mount me ‘cause I’m usually a long way from home. I often bring my own saddle....


The Hunter’s Son

March 8, 2019

This is the poem of the hunter’s son as he tracks the woods alone And the beaver’s revenge when he seeks to avenge the hunter’s gauntlet thrown By choosing to pair with a grizzly bear,...


Pull my finger

March 1, 2019

ATTN: This is addressed to teenagers, tuba players and grown-ups in the news media who have gotten great giggles out of the story that cow flatulence is a danger to mankind! It can be expected...


Graftin’ calves

February 22, 2019

On the Edge of Common Sense Baxter Black, DVM I was ugly when I was born. How ugly were you? I was so ugly they had to tie my mother’s legs together so I could...


Cowboy cartoonists

February 15, 2019

In my life there are people with talents I admire: horse trainers, good ropers, cattle traders, backyard mechanics, welders, guitar players. AI technicians, farriers, purebred breeders and rough stock riders, for instance. I’ve resigned myself...


Cow Attack

February 8, 2019

“What happened to your pickup seat? Is that buffalo track?” Well, I guess you had to be there. We had a cow attack. It all began when me and Roy went out to check the...


Bentley, the born again bull

January 31, 2019

It was one of those 2 o’clock mornin’ calls: “Looked like everything was comin’ jes fine, Doc, then he got stuck! Could you come?” On the way out to the ranch I put the truck...


Cowboy’s Grace

January 25, 2019

Dear Lord, Yer lookin’ at a man who never learned to cook unless you count pork & beans And a flowery grace like you’d read in a book is really beyond my means But You...


Ol’ Roanie

January 18, 2019

“How ya doin’ Skip?” I asked. “Okay, I guess,” he said. “Remember my good rope horse?” I remembered. Skip, like me is left-handed and therefore requires a left-handed heelin’ horse. Whenever I’m in southern New...