STORY WITH A MORAL
- Waddie Mitchell
Now I know there's thing worse that make cowpunchers curse,
And I reckon it's happened to us all.
Though it's years since, you bet, when I think of it yet,
It still makes my skin crawl.
I was makin' a ride to bring in one hide
That hadn't showed up in the gather;
I was riding upstream, daydreamin' a dream,
When I caught there was somethin' the matter.
Near some quakin' asp trees, I had caught in the breeze,
A stench that was raunchy and mean,
And I reckoned as how it might be the old cow,
So I rode to a bend in the stream.
Shore 'nuff that cow lied in the crick there and died;
Hard tellin' how long she'd been there.
She was bloated and tight, twas a horrible sight--
She was oozin' and slippin' her hair.
Her eye sockets were alive with maggots that thrive
On dead flesh, putrid yellow and green,
And the hot sun burnin' down, turnin' pink things to brown.
Spewin' oily gunk in the stream.
Well, I spurred upwind fast to get away from the blast
Of the heavy stench the cow made;
And I felt bad seein's how I'd lost the ol' cow,
And I pulled up near a tree in the shade.
Then I got sick to the core, rememberin' just minutes before
I'd done something that made me feel worse:
Not thirty yards down I'd stepped off to the ground
And drank 'til my belly near burst.
For months after it, just the thought made me spit.
And I'd live it over like a bad dream.
And the moral, I think, is if you must take a drink,
Never, ever remount and ride upstream.