Old Red

Now Old Red was a horse on the Bar Double Seven
Way down in New Mexico
Back in them days it was kinda like heaven
Way back before talk radio

Now Mr. McTavish, who owned that fine spread,
was concerned with things economic
Didn’t pay much attention to the cattle or Red
But Red was a pure equine comic

Nobody knew just how Red got his name
He was brown as a fresh-laid cow pie
Had a white spot, a horse laugh, and a good deal of fame
round the campfires, and I’ll tell you why

Red wasn’t real crazy, never ate too much thistle
Big and strong, he could work all dang day
But every so often a new cowboy missile
Would get launched off his back so they say

Generally mild, he could sure make you think
that he was yore buddy, yore pard
Then yore butt would fly up and yore stomach would sink
You'd come down on New Mexico, hard

Red would amble on over and look down at you
Very calm as if he was sayin
“Sorry old son. Hope yore not hurt too bad”
“You know I was only a playin”

On his best behavior for the rest of the day
You’d start thinking it must have been you
Must have spurred him too hard. Must have reined the wrong way
I mean look at him now. Calm and cool.

At the end of the day, and all done with the chores
You’d calmly start to unbuckle
You’d pull his tack off  as his foot stomped on yours
And he’d stand there and give that dang chuckle

Every now and again the boss would come round
just to have a rich rancher look-see.
And one day he figured that he’d at last found
a horse fit for a man such as he

“What should I say?”, thought the foreman just then
“Look out Boss, your brain’ll git rattled?”
And before they all knew it, with a big boss-man grin
McTavish was up in the saddle

All the cowboys and horses and even the steers
Held their breath at the duo’s first meeting
And what happened next then brought the cowboys to tears
As they waited for Red’s bucking greeting

But old Red he just stood there as calm as could be
As the throng gazed with awe and with wonder
McTavish rode off toward the ranch house you see
Old Red’s hooves poundin like thunder

For the rest of their days McTavish and Red
Were together from morning to night
The foreman had figured it out in his head
Seems they suited each other just right

Funny how things work out fine sometimes
Sometimes things just take their course
Red retired as first class comic equine
And became just a one-man horse

Original drawing by Pack Saddle Slim aka Chip Cannon
Photo by Ellie Mae Mohr aka Sharon Wesley