COWBOY POETRY: Trick or Treat at Hesper’s

Bryce Angell is a cowboy poet. Angell was raised on a farm/ranch in the St. Anthony, Idaho area with approximately 75 head of horses. Horses remain an important part of Angell's life. Angell shares his poetry with Cache Valley Daily every Friday.

‘Twas Halloween and four of us were out to trick or treat.  My older cousin drove us, and we only had one seat.

He’d paid a hundred dollars for a 55 old Jeep.  So, we packed in tighter than a bunch of stupid, woolly sheep.

We stopped at every farmhouse.  We’d climb out and stretch our legs.  One farmer’s wife had chickens, so she gave us hard boiled eggs.

Our sacks were full of popcorn balls; wax papered homemade fudge. Our bounty snugged up in our laps.  There wasn’t room to budge.

My cousin said, “It’s getting late.  You’ve filled your appetite.  But first let’s stop at Hesper’s for a Halloween fright night.”

The children’s gossip was that Hesper was a murderer.  A lone hitchhiker met his fate while Hesper’s passenger.

My cousin said, “Just walk on in and show a little grit.  Besides, if you get murdered, then we’ll have more room to sit.”

So, we made a plan of action, but it wasn’t worth a lick.  ‘Cuz we drew four straws and wouldn’t ya know I pulled the shortest stick.

My childish brain was dreading, “Would I be ol’ Hesper’s gore?  I’d rather take off running than to knock on Hesper’s door.”

I tapped on Hesper’s door, and wondered, “Will I be dead meat?”   Then Hesper stood there face to face.  I squeaked out, “Trick or treat.”

Old Hesper’s eyes looked cold, but did I see a hint of smile?  He said, “I haven’t seen a trick or treater for a while.

“And I haven’t got no candy.”  Then his face got mighty still.  He reached into his wallet, pulled a brand-new dollar bill.

Back then I didn’t have a doggone penny to my name.  But the dollar bill meant more than cash.  It changed old Hesper’s fame.

When I ponder ‘bout the dollar I received on Halloween.  I kindly think of Hesper.  The old man sure wasn’t mean.

That Halloween I learned a lesson.  Be careful what you hear.  Sometimes it’s just a story and there ain’t no need to fear.

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