Cowboy

Trailing a herd of buffalo across Montana one afternoon, an excited future President, Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt, turned to a companion and exclaimed, "By Godfrey, this is fun!"

 
And from that day on he wanted to be a cowboy.
 
He proved to be a good one.  He could shoot, track, read brands, work a round-up, and sit on a horse for extended periods without complaint in the roughest kind of country.
 
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to join rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much or suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat.  It is the doer of deeds who counts in the battle for life," he said, "not the man who looks on and  says how the battle ought to be fought without himself sharing the stress and the danger.
 
"There were all kinds of things I was afraid of at first, ranging from grizzly bears to mean horses and gunfighters; but by acting as if I was not afraid I gradually ceased to be afraid.
 
"This wild rough-rider of the plains should be seen in his own home.  There he passes his days.  There he does his life's work.  There, when he meets his death, he faces it as he has faced many other evils, with quiet, uncompromising fortitude.
 
"Brave, hardy, adventurous, he is the grim promise of our race.  He prepares the way for civilization before whose face he himself must disappear."
 
He was all guts.  He proved that rounding up and driving large herds of cattle across rough and unfamiliar country.
 
Bad weather, bandits, and Indians made it difficult, Texas longhorns made it near impossible.
 
The longhorns were the meanest, said Roosevelt.  They moved into brush, waited for a rider to approach, then charged him with those horns.
 
The only way to round up the critters was to wait for nightfall when they came out of the brush to drink, then race to cut them off and rope them.
 
The more adventurous cowboys took care of that, but it sometimes meant 24-hours in the saddle.
 
Thanks to the chuck wagon, the invention of trail blazer Charles Goodnight, the boys ate well.  Beans and coffee were the staple, of course.  Beans and coffee were easy to store. But a cow could be slaughtered on the trail for meat and an inventive cook could make Sonofagun Stew out of the innerds and come up with  biscuits, bacon, potatoes, maybe even some fresh eggs.
 
Sourdough cinnamon rolls were a treat.  Fried cakes were available if everybody got along.  Fried cakes with a sprinkling of sugar.
 
Mmm-mmm-mmm.
 


        Code of the Cowboy

  1. Ride for the brand.
  2. Tend to the needs of your horse and dog before your own.
  3. Treat folks the way you want to be treated.
  4. Say "Howdy" to folks you meet on the trail.
  5. Tip your hat to the ladies. Cowboys are gentlemen.
  6. Keep your word to the trail boss.  Your word is your bond.
  7. Never wear your guns when asking for a raise.
  8. Never touch another cowboy's hat, especially a Texan's.  Next to his horse, he prizes his hat most.
  9. Never squat with your spurs on while drinking hot coffee.
  10. Never speak ill of the cook.  You could find something in your coffee you don't expect.
     

 

 

Cowboy

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