Thunder Butte

September 03, 2007

Old Mexican Longhorn

I wrote a poem called ‘Old Mexican Longhorn.’ The part where I was a kid is absolutely true—that old, long-horned cow terrified me when I was younger than [five]. I think she was in league with the devil. She would, or so I thought, lie in wait for me someplace out of sight. Then, when I left the house, she would start to bellow and paw the earth and start for me. I actually think she used to have flame coming out of her nostrils. Well, you can read the poem [below]. You will see that I embellished it by continuing the story into my older years.


Some said she was spawn of satan, but I know different,
I know that old cow was satan himself.
She had to been the onriest critter that ever appeared on
this planet.
I can still see me run’n when I was jist so high, my fat
little legs churn’n, run’n bent for leather to get away from
her. That ole longhorn eyes blaz’n fire, snort’n smoke and
ashes and boy was she after me.

I wandered out by the bunkhouse one day and ‘for I knowed what was happen’n she was make’n hay.
I made the house and the screen door slammed and the
earth shook as she pawed the ground and bellowed.
I just hid under the kitchen table and shook.

She was a caution, hell on hooves they said.
One day I had to go, you know, natures thing
I’m sitt’n on my haunches, careful not to sit on my spurs
down by the cottonwoods, out of harm’s way I thought
chew’n on a blade of grass, swatt’n an occasional fly off
my bare ass and I heard what sounded like thunder off a
ways, it was down by them thar bushes in the creek bed
that-a-way , then it turned in to bushes crash’n and I’m
gitt’n pretty scared, start to pull up my pants and --- too
late it’s that ole Mexican Longhorn and she sees me.

Shirt tail fly’n straight out behind, spurs sing’n a song,
I race for that bunkhouse but the trail is too damn long.
Just short of the door, in an old hog waller, I trip on a
spur and go full length in to that mud. Can you just
see it now? My pants down around my knees, knee deep
in mud, flat on my face, that damn Mexican Longhorn won’t
even touch me there.

I hear her off in the trees, snort’n , paw’n the ground, but
made it in to the bunkhouse and sorta got cleaned up.
It’s been come’n on for a long time now and this is the day.
Got down my ole 30-30, walk out and I’m gonna shoot that cow. I start for the bank of trees. Damn if she did’n see
me first and I thot it was the end of the earth.

The ground shook and wind roared as that ole Mexican cow
came out of them trees. I take one look and I turn tail and
run. In seconds flat, one of them long horns caught me by
the pants and next thing I know I’m fly’n through the air,
splash’n in that hog waller again.

Next fall came and went and I found out later that old Mexican Longhorn got rounded up with a bunch of yearling
steers and went off to Sooo City. Probably been ground up
for a joosey MacDonald’s and none too soon I guess.

First time I ever went to church, was in the city one day and
pass’n one of them Cathedrals I just had to stop and pray.
Deer Lord I just wanta thank ye for save’n me . You took
care of satan a while back jist when my luck was run’n out.
Thanks lord, she’d a got me fer sure if you hadn't stepped
in and took her out.

--John Crowley
Mike Crowley Monday, September 03, 2007


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