Sunday, March 24, 2013
A Thousand Pretty Ponies
Come on you little darlings, and let's go watch your Daddy gather a thousand head of horses off of grassy Garvin Basin
They are running all together as they have been all this winter, and it is a sight that we may never chance to see again
So let's hurry up the mountain, watch and sit and wait there, to see a thousand pretty ponies coming down off Garvin's Rim.
The summers for years have been droughty and hot
Grasshoppers and crickets have eaten the feed
Still there was grass in the Basin and the crickets were not
So we leased out its grass for the wintering of steeds.
We had dude rancher's cavvies, and roundup remudas
And rodeo rough strings all wintering there
On range that was strong, sure the best that there was
In these Montana thirties all else is plumb bare.
It took me and six cowboys to get them all gathered
The horses like wild bunches scattered before us
We rode our poor broncs till they tired and wavered
Then roped us some new ones and went on from there.
Sometimes our new ones were good ones and true
But often as not they'd buck and they'd pitch
But my boys from the Antler are cowboy plumb through
And they rode what they caught, didn't much matter which.
A hard day of riding on a bunch of fresh horses
And finally we had them all lined out and loping
Due east toward the trail and we cut off their choices
Till we had them up here just like we'd been hoping.
Now I see my Sweetheart, the kids and they're waving
Even the wee one from there on her hip
I thought that they would like the sight of us gathering
A good thousand horses is a sight worth the trip.
Over yonder see them coming, there's your Daddy and he's running with a thousand head of horses out of grassy Garvin Basin.
They are rippling like a river with their manes and tails flying, flashing, glinting colors, proudest thing I've ever seen.
And see his hat, it's waving, as he comes riding hard and spurring, leading all those pretty ponies pouring down off Garvin's Rim.
[written in the voices of Frank and Doris Greenough, my grandparents, about a good day a long time ago that they always remembered and told about...]