In the big
desert, where the
Lives a legend in
that country, with countless other ties.
Was 'dropped' in
and left there when of age,
He just quit that
country, and sorta slipped right off the page.
'Never did go back'
he said, 'nothin' left behind for me',
'My hearts out in
and it's there I want to be.'
His trip there took
it's time though, made other tracks of course.
Years of other work
was done first, before his livin' from the horse.
Took time in the
Great Northwest, hunting varmints from a plane,
Cause the stockmen
needed help, shooting coyotes was his game.
Made many friends,
and lived his life only on his terms.
Didn't tend to
tiptoe around, and that made some people squirm.
He had some kids and
did a lot, adventures did abound.
Life didn't tend to
be too slow, when Mike was close around.
He found his
'partner made for life', selling insurance door to door.
He asked her out,
she said "NO!", he nearly hit the floor.
But he kept it up,
she saw the light, he got a final "Yes",
Grab your hat and
boots my dear, the future will be your best.
They headed east to
'come wrangle dudes with me',
Worked more horses
there in the hills, than most will ever see.
She named them all,
knew by sight, each horse has his own face.
A job so big that
few could do, it seemed they'd found their place.
But they left there,
was more to see, more things yet left to do.
for a time, a circle cut, and other places too.
A writing job, and
photos too, at many ranches in the west.
It fit them well,
they knew the life, they always did their best.
called, they answered it, worked cattle every day,
A hardened cowboy
wrote the checks, they really earned their pay.
Calves to brand, and
stock to work, it was a cowboy's game.
They loved the life,
and loved to ride, no day was ever plain.
But all the while
they had a plan, they knew where they should be.
So they packed 'er
up and headed west, come back 'home' with me.
range was calling them, they knew their place was there.
It was always where
they belonged, was where they were a 'pair'.
They pack in salt,
and work wild cows, way high up in the hills,
They'll never quit,
it gives them joy, and they are at it still.
But the winter snows
do push them south, where snow is pretty rare.
To Fallon where it
stays real nice, Mike has a riding job down there.
Jack's", to ride the pens, and take cows into the ring,
Jack needed help,
and Mike can't sit, yes cow work is his 'thing'.
Most guys by then
have settled down, and found a slower pace,
But he can't think
of doing that, you'd think he's in a race.
A useful life should
be our goal, and his for sure has been,
With lots of friends
and stories told, and more before the end.
A lucky man to live
his life, and make his living off a horse.
Some bad ones sure,
but on the list, some great ones, too, of course.
Like Fox and
Brownie, Coyote too, and countless other rides.
A day outside and
horseback, is worth ten other days inside.
I asked one day if
he would stop, and look for calmer things to do,
Not a chance in
hell, was what he said, I'm not even close to being through.
It's an 'ego' thing
he told me, to draw a paycheck from horseback.
But more than that,
it's his life, he's made so many tracks.
I hope someday that
when I am done, I have something to say,
Of what I have done
with my own life, that shows I made my way.
Like he has done,
and done it well, I know he'd never trade.
He loves the life,
and always will, till his last card is played.