Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Herd of Cattle

The Herd of Cattle

Well perhaps you’ve heard me prattle,
Of when I got mixed up with some cattle,
Just a herd of eighty two,
That us kids were driving through,
A bunch of steers they sold for beef,
Never dreamed we’d meet a thief,
Would have sent along the men,
But they all were busy then,
You can bet us kids were proud of ourselves,
For the six of us were only twelve,
And to make us think that we were men,
They handed us our first guns then,
They were thirty twos I think,
With home made bullets made of zinc,
But they’d have to do they said.
As we had run out of lead,
We had about two hundred miles to go,
And were told to take it slow,
And as near as I can say,
We made twenty miles a day,
Our cook was a kid we all called fat,
But he was pretty good at that,
And he fed us good alright,
Kept our belt buckles good and tight,
But we had orders for to stay,
At a place we should reach on the ninth day,
They said it was a small frog pond,
With the water mostly gone,
But the grass that round it grew,
Would last the steers a day or two,
Well the steers had reached the bank,
And were filling up their tanks,
When five men were standing there,
They appeared out of thin air,
They told us kids to just skidoo,
That our cattle drive was through,
But we knew our men would come,
Then we knew there’d be some fun,
We hid up among the brush,
Hoped our men would make a rush,
We sent one kid back down the trail,
To meet our men he couldn’t fail,
And it proved to be the ticket,
They left their horses in a thicket,
So they approached the camp a walking,
And you bet they wasn’t talking,
The camp fire was burning down low,
Gosh I thought our guys are slow,
Then I heard our foreman cry,
Stick your paws up to the sky,
Then the guns began to bellow,
And I saw they had hit one fellow,
Three pair of paws went in the air,
But the fifth man wasn’t there,
He had made his bed alone,
Somewhere up among the stones,
But when he saw they’d lost they day,
He was coming right my way,
And when I yeld for him to freeze,
He couldn’t see me in the trees,
And his gun just started blazing,
And the under brush he was hazing,
And before I could even think,
I handed him a piece of zink,
Then our men came on the fly,
Threw a rope around the guy,
Told us kids we better run,
Not stick around to see the fun,
But it wasn’t too much fun I hope,
For the next day we were short of ropes,
Must have droped them on the ground,
Didn’t stop to look around,
Said we’d understand when we were grown,
But told us to skidoo for home.

A.D. Brown,
Aug, 9th, 1977

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Armistice Dance

One day I walked out on the street,
Where an old friend I chanced to meet,
Hadn’t seen the man for years,
Would have passed him by I fear,
But he stopped and turned around,
And asked me if my name was Brown,
He looked familiar in a way,
But who he was I couldn’t say,
His face was hid behind a beard,
So he had the advantage of me I feared,
Then he mentioned iSt, Marillion France,
And the night of the Armistice Dance,
Then his name to my mind came,
For I knew it was Hank Lane,
They held it in a vacant store,
And charged you two franks at the door,
So we thought we’d try our luck.
They let us in for half a buck.
The music was a harp and a fiddle,
But it could tease your feet to diddle,
There was chairs along the wall,
And a table in the center of the hall,
Upon which the fiddler stood,
So every one could hear him good,
Those french girls could cut it neat,
Though some were dancing in bare feet,
We had to mind our Ps and Qs,
For we were wearing army shoes,
Well every thing was going fine,
Until they opened a keg of wine,
And they said the wine was free,
So every one had a drink but me,
For I never touch the stuff,
When I’m sober I’m fool enough.
They all danced till three A,M.
Things were getting hectic then,
Though the harp was doing fine,
The fiddler couldn’t keep the time.
I felt sorry for the jerk,
But the wine had done it’s dirty work.
They didn’t know what to do,
And was afraid the dance was through,
But it seems I saved the day,
When I started in to play,
The harpest didn’t know my tunes.
But she cut in pretty soon,
And we got along quite fine,
And forgot about the time.
Untill we heard the town clock strike,
And we saw that it was getting light,
Then they started gathering round,
As I put the fiddle down,
Then the dance was at an end,
But I’d made a lot of friends,
They said they would pass the hat
But I told them none of that.
I told them I’d had fun,
And I thanked them every one,
It was then a little miss,
Came and gave me a big kiss,
But the harpest stepd between,
She was jelous so it seems.
And she said that we should go.
Well she lived in a Chateau,
So you see that she would be. To stuck up for one like me.
Then I thought of my friend Hank,
And I found that he got tanked,
And left the dance with a red head,
Well I guess enough is said,
I never ask him where he went,
Or just how the night was spent.
But as for me it was no riddle,
For I spent my time with a fiddle.

Sept. 30, 1979