COWBOY POETRY: Cheatin’ on the Food

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.

For three days we’d been on the trail, now the corrals a welcome sight.  I swear I lost a pound or two.  My wranglers weren’t as tight.

At times I’ve gone without some food, but never on the trail.  So, I’ll tell you folks about the ride.  This trip was bound to fail.  

A so-called friend asked, “Can you pack into the Yellowstone?”  My father said, ”We’ve packed for years.  I’d say that’s how we’re known.”

The friend said, “There are ten of us.”  He sounded kinda shrewd.  He asked, “If you will pack us in, we’ll furnish all the food.”  

My father said, “We usually furnish food and all the gear.  For you we’ll make exceptions, but I want to make this clear.

“There’ll be food, enough for everyone, a cook at every meal.  If you can make that promise, then you’ve got yourself a deal.”

They made a handshake on the deal.  For Dad, that’s good enough.  The other fellow wasn’t true.  His handshake was a bluff.  

We taught them how to pack the food and weight it down just right.  But when we loaded up the mules those packs were sure ‘nuff light.  

At dinner we ate tuna fish.  Someone forgot the bread.  So then we had some mac and cheese, don’t think we all got fed.  

For breakfast we had cheerios and they were soggy too.  They even mixed up powered milk.  I’ve tasted better glue.  

The cook said we’d have scrambled eggs.  That sounded great to me.  But he’d only brought a dozen, said, “We’ll have to wait and see.”  

I don’t remember having lunch, at night more tuna fish.  So, I robbed some spam and crackers.  I would call it, “Starving dish.”  

We weren’t allowed to keep the trout.  But I didn’t give a #&*@!  I caught a half a dozen, then I mixed ‘em with the spam.  

For three whole days my stomach cried, ‘’Ain’t had enough to eat!”  But I learned a darned good lesson.  It sure doesn’t pay to cheat.

So, I made a promise to myself and never to exclude.  When I’m out there on the trail I’ll have a saddlebag of food.

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