I Saddled Up Ole Rabbit

by Ronda Staas Applegarth

I saddled up ole Rabbit.
It was dark, way past 10 p.m.
But I heard some cattle calling
and rode out to check on them.
We climbed up Parson Ridge,
down the canyon way out back,
up and over Piney Mountain,
til we crested Tyler Flat.
We finally got up near enough,
ole Rabbit horse and me,
to where we heard the lowing,
so I pulled up by a tree.
And what we saw behind those pines
made us both jump back in fear.
Cause the devil was rustling cattle
with *MY* brand upon their rears!
Ole Bealzebub ran back and forth
a ropin calves and tyin feet,
then grabbed a cinch ring from his bags
and next applied the heat.
Next thing I know, I ain't scared,
fact is, I'm hopping mad!
To think that low down dirty bum
would go and steal my calves!
I jerked my rope loose from my kak
and built me up a loop,
then dug my spurs in Rabbit's sides
and rode into the group.
I caught the cattle by surprise,
they scattered everywhere.
We trotted up to Beelzebub
and caught his icy stare.
"Now what?" I think
I'm standing here and just about to die.
I silently begin my prayers.
My days flash before my eyes.
I'm just about to give it up,
and fall down upon my knees,
and tell the devil to take my herd.
Then what on earth do I see?
Jake comes busting through the brush.
He’s mounted on a paint.
And Eddie is a’comin hard,
a’riding up the flank
Don's loop is turning overhead,
he throws it clean and true.
He turns and lopes away and yells
"You'd better pick up two!"
I bump ole Rabbit into a lope
and track those cloven feet,
then lay a trap and scoop em up.
I ain't never roped so sweet.
Ed and Jake bail off and then run in
when the ropes are pulled back tight.
They torch the devils keister
with that cinch ring glowin bright.
The last thing that I recall
on that cool November night,
was something I won't soon forget
cause it seemed like such a sight.
The devil ran a bellowing
and running without tire,
a fannin’ out behind him
cause his buttocks were on fire.
Now here's a word of warning
If some cows you choose to take.
Don't sneak around on Tyler flat
In November when it's late.
If you take calves that belong to me
then brains is what you lack.
And beware the Double D cowboys,
cause they always travel in packs!

This poem was published in Western Horseman Magazine in February 2000.


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