“Real cowboys have marks on their boots from their spurs,”
He said, then he asked me if I would agree.
Well, there I stood, speechless. He caught me off guard.
Quite honestly, spurs never mattered to me.
I told him I lived on a horse ranch back when.
Our horses were well-trained; we didn't need spurs.
He said, “They're required when you work with cows
For cutting 'em out and whatever occurs.”
I have a confession. See, I'm not a cowboy.
I patted a long-horn, but that's way off course.
I did cut a steer from a herd out to graze,
And did it when I was out riding a horse.
Don't jump to conclusions. It's not what you think.
It wasn't like anything you've ever seen.
I rode on a ranch for my very first time.
I wasn't a kid; I was over sixteen.
Seems too many kids think that they'll never die,
Or they can break laws and they'll never get caught.
I knew I could ride any horse any where.
Turns out I was not quite as good as I thought.
Four girls were invited to ride on that day.
And when we arrived, we saw five horses there.
A halter-broke filly, a working man's horse,
Two well-behaved geldings, and one ancient mare.
Our hostess put three novice riders on first,
Up on to the geldings and on the old girl.
Then she took the halter-broke, young, playful bay,
And I rode her father's best cow horse, Miss Pearl.
Three saddles, four bridles, five horses, five girls.
Just count it. You know we were missing some tack.
Our hostess had nothing but halter and rope.
Miss Pearl had a bridle, but I rode bareback.
We ambled and chatted our way down the lane.
And through the first pasture. A clear sunny day,
With girl talk and laugher and wide-open fields,
'Til we found a hot wire blocking our way.
Well, four of us turned to go down past the fence.
The filly's head turned but she just walked straight on.
Remember our hostess was riding bareback?
When they hit that wire, we thought they were gone.
They gave us a good show, and I've got to say
That filly, she jumped and went two ways at once.
My friend rode it out, but I can't tell you how.
No serious harm, but she felt like a dunce.
We rode through a gate to a pasture with steers.
All sleek, fat and glossy, they paid us no mind.
The first four girls quietly rode by the herd.
No reason I found myself lagging behind.
Miss Pearl was a sweetheart, and trained very well,
A fifteen-hand cowpony, beautiful paint.
Well, I had a thought, and I acted it out.
Can't blame evil angels if I'm not a saint.
I guided Miss Pearl 'til she stared at a steer.
Then I tapped my heel lightly into her side.
She raced to the steer and she matched ev'ry turn.
Two fists full of mane, I was set for the ride.
The steer dodged and scrambled and broke to the West.
Pearl twisted and spun and then cut like a knife.
I'm sure it was pretty to those who could watch.
I scrunched my eyes closed and hung on for dear life.
The steer gave up running, admitted defeat.
Miss Pearl squatted down. I could rope him at will.
When I didn't throw, she just stood up real slow.
Ears back, that mare gave me a look that could kill.
I patted her neck, and I called her good girl.
Her ears stayed pinned back for the rest of the ride.
I should have brought carrots or sweet oats or such.
I should have shown horse sense or better, less pride.
Miss Pearl didn't buck, didn't shy, balk or bite.
Hey, she could have tossed me and trampled me flat,
Or she could have kicked and sent me to the sky.
Miss Pearl was a lady, too well-bred for that.
She simply found things that she needed to jump:
A pebble, five puddles, some leaves, and a branch.
I gave her her head, and I left the reins slack,
Her obstacle course as we walked 'cross the ranch.
They say bad decisions can make for good tales.
This story is true. Yes, I give you my word.
No spurs, not to mention a saddle or rope,
Miss Pearl and I once cut a steer from a herd.