Austin Edwin Brown II


I remember going to California with Dad.

Back in ’48, an old Chevy Coupe is all we had.

He hung a canvas water bag over the radiator cap.


I the (the bag) was a long way from us kids in the back.


Two things remain vivid in my mind:

The very hot desert, thirst, and boredom all the time!

I thought then of how good the old trail drivers had it?

I mean, plenty of sights, lots of water, and excitement!


Of course, all I knew were of my grandad’s tales

Of swimmin’ rivers and stampedes on the trails.

But the truth of it came out in later life when

I had time to study the subject more objective by then.


Water, I found out, was the main ingredient

In gettin’ the cattle north in the way most expedient.

The stock needed to drink at least every other day

And without it, some would die along the way.


After water, boredom was maybe the worst part. 

Can you imagine mountin’ a horse at the start 

And ridin’ him twelve hours a day for a thousand miles?

I’ll bet, at the end, there were many smiles!


And, unless the cattle ran (really, an unusual event),

The riders faced sore butts and dust to the greatest extent.

There was nothing but themselves for entertainment

Ant it came usually in this very strange arrangement:


Seems the only fun and release for these cowpokes

Was tellin’ tall stories and makin’ up crazy jokes.

But boredom returned as the jokes got told and retold.

Soon the hands knew them all and the jokes got old.


Then someone suggested givin’ the jokes a number.

That saved a lot of long, borin’ time in the hot summer.

One day a journalist came to camp to write a story

About the trail drives and all the associated glory.


He was amazed when, after dinner, a man would holler

“Nine” , and then another random number would follow. 

Maybe a guy would stand and say “Eleven” , and then 

All the men would just roll and laugh out loud again!


The writer was amazed at these antics from tired men.

That’s when a man stood up and said, Number 10!

There was silence all around as the fire slowly burned. 

Not a word was said, not a head was turned.


Next morning the newspaper man asked the cook

What the “number thing” was all about (for his book).

Cookie told him about the numberin’ of the jokes

And how it was a favorite of of all the cow folks.


“But, Mr. Cook, when Wilbur stood and 10 he hollered,

Not a man said a word and that’s why I’m bothered.”

“Oh, You’re concerned by the lack of laugher and rant.

The reason is, some guys can tell a joke and some guys just can’t..!!!!!!!!



Notes from the author: 

This is a true story………at least my dad told it to me when I was a kid….so, it is a true story!  I don’t guess there is another setting in the world in any age  like a cattle roundup campfire! I mean, cowboys just have a very different way of talking and thinking than any other class of people. Humor is always involved, for sure. There are always the “rocks” under the roll, maybe a  “frog” , or too, and sometimes a “snake” in the bed.  ‘Course, the joker can always expect an “equal and opposite reaction” from the offended! this can carry on for days………and, nights. ‘Bout the only time things are quiet is when the men are waking. (No Snoring then.) Their actions seem kinda like those of one recovering from a hangover!……..and, things aren’t sooo funny, then.  Invariably, a hand will stumble through camp and, while getting a cup of hot coffee, tea between the cook and the fire, and that is a BIG mistake stories that are tole about and played on those that are hard-a-hearin’………but that’s a story for next time……….


So on we go today pretending like our country is just like it was back in 1946, while our liberties are being taken away every day! I heard just today that gasoline in CA is now $7.39 a gallon! Dang, if it gets that high here, it will sure raise the cost of you beef!!!!!  So, call you representative  in your state capitol and also in the SWAMP and tell them, “DO SOMETHING” !!!!


Keep your powder dry and your cinch tight ‘cause it’s gonna to be a rough ride!


AEBII (paso por aqui)

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