Tag Archives: Humour



Up North working the neighbour’s calves

One of those mixed farm forty cow
no corral kind of operations
good folks though and they help us out

We’re branding and cutting and vaccinating
in a lean-to off the barn in shit eight inches deep

No room for a horse or a rope
so you just have to grab those calves
and throw them down right side up
so they’re dry enough to brand

The farmer’s son loses his grip on a catch
and the calf tries to bolt past me

I turn quick, grab the head and come ‘round
fast to where the farmer stands flat footed
with that big syringe in his hand
needle pointed forward

Into my shoulder, skin, flesh and the bone
dumping the whole shot of multi-task

The next day the arm hurts bad
and it doesn’t look too good

So we drive down to Mossbank
to see the old Aussie flying doctor
who must have gotten off course
to land in Saskatchewan

He gives me some medicine
and says come back in three days

I say I’ll probably be fine by then
and it’s sixty miles round trip

He says “don’t worry mate
you’re vaccinated for shipping fever”

And I’ve been traveling ever since



The story was told by my old friend Bill
about a time when he was four
well maybe a little less, maybe a little more

Seems he’d been rubbin’ up against some boys in town
and learned some language that made his momma frown

His folks tried about everything from soap on down
but the lessons they were pouring in just wouldn’t stay down

Finally they said, now Billy my boy
the decision we’re makin’ gives us no joy

Because generally we like you , and you’re pretty good
with your chores
but there’s no room on this ranch for language like yours

So, though it’s sure to make us grieve
we’ve packed your bag, and you’ll have to leave

They peeked through the curtains as he walked down the lane
with Dad remindin’ Mom that some lessons have pain

Billy stood at the road for 20 minutes or more
then slowly trudged back and knocked on the door

They slipped from the window and opened it slow
he said
“where in the hell am I supposed to go?”



I didn’t kill a b’ar when I was only three
but I did start to chew before I was two

They say Copenhagen cowboys have a tendency to lie a bit
usually it’s how young they started and how far they can spit

Now I ain’t got many silver buckles to brag about
but this is for sure and without a doubt
I’ve got the record when it comes to snuff
for the earliest, and shortest, addiction to the stuff

Now my memory’s a little foggy but the legend’s quite clear
that somewhere between my first and second year
My daddy leaned over the crib to kiss me goodnight
with the can in his pocket not sittin’ too tight

It seems from the beginning that I sure liked the stuff
and, in no time at all, ate that whole box of snuff
Legend doesn’t tell my exact shades of green
but I hear there were some that had never been seen

Though out behind barns and sometimes in bars
I’ve tried cigarettes and pipes and a few good cigars
Still when folks pull out that old round can of thar’s
all my colour comes back and they think I’m from Mars



I bought a pair of boots one time
made from an old sea turtle’s hide
The prettiest boots you ever saw
but a little bit tight along the side

I figured it would only take a while
to break these babies in just right
and in the meantime at least I’d have
the pleasure of taking them off at night

Now a hundred years don’t seem long
to an old sea turtle, or his next of kin
but it appeared it was gonna take that long
to break those miserable damn boots in

I tried everything to ease that constant pain
I soaked ‘em, I oiled ‘em, I bent ‘em, I boiled ‘em
If anyone had suggestions, no matter how wild
I got out those boots and sure enough tried ‘em

But those son of a guns just continued to pinch
I couldn’t get them to move 1/16th of an inch
wild thoughts of destruction started filling my day
but the boots were too pretty I’d just give them away

I gave them to my younger brother first
by logic his feet should be smaller you see
but after a month or so he gave them back and said
he just couldn’t accept all that charity

So I gave them away to friend after friend
but I guess gratitude ain’t what it used to be
and the results were always the same in the end
I got those turtle boots back, but I mostly lost
the friend

and every time I got them back
I’d put them on and wear them a while
and never could figure how one pair of boots
could cause so much pain and still have so much

But I gave them at last to a chiropractor down in
and I didn’t get ‘em back, so I expect he’s got ‘em

because if he can’t adjust those boots
he can always adjust his feet



The old timers were all settin around the general store
I think they’d been there forever or a few days more
hocking up gossip and spit and an occasional snore

And as it’s always been in the West of the East
the one who knew the most said the least
He had a face like old harness and one bad eye
to myself I called him “the old dry guy”

Late January one year the old boys were a buzz
old Jeb had got scalded and burned off some fuzz
He’d been bathing in his kitchen in the old tin tub
and reached across for the kettle to warm up the rub
slipping he’d spilt it and lost some skin and some hair
and the boys were all speculatin’ how much and where

They’d talked it around for about three hours or more
when the ‘old dry guy’ moved in his chair by the door

They all got real quiet and leaned closer to hear

He said

“Serves the damn fool right, takin a bath this time of year”