by Donna Penley
Th’ cowboy’d been on th’ range a spell -- decided he’d head into town.
Saddled his hoss an’ away he did ride – then he was Wichita bound.
On th’ outskirts of th’ city, he came on a curious sight;
‘Twas a four wheeled, smoke spoutin’ montster, an’ it put his hoss t’ flight.
Th’ cayouse forgot he knew th’ word ‘whoa’ – an’ snortin’, away he did run;
Th’ driver of th’ Tin Lizzie thought it was wonderful fun!
He laughed with such gusto, an’ slapped his thigh –
as he watched that ole cayouse buck;
Th’ cowboy was doin’ some ridin’ as ol’ Roanie dodged an’ ducked.
Then, after th’ geldin’ had come t’ a halt, th’ cowboy spun him around.
T’ face th’ shakin’ , shudderin’ monster -- but this time they held their ground.
He was mad an’ in awe, both at th’ same time as he faced that Lizzie machine;
But, th’ driver a’laughin’ inside her made th’ cowboy plumb mean!
Now, th’ cowpoke didn’t take kindly to th’ driver a’makin’ fun;
So, he pulled his trusty six shooter – an’ now th’ driver was under th’ gun!
“Jest what th’ hell’s so funny?,” asked th’ cowpoke of th’ driver man;
Shore as shootin’, he wiped off his smirk – was sweatin’ t’ beat th’ band.
“I truly am sorry, mister. Didn’t mean t’ spook yore horse”
He thought he’d get off lightly, that it was a matter of course.
Th’ cowboy took a spell t’ answer, but this is what he said:
“You go around treatin’ people this way, you just might end up dead!”
But, I ain’t never seen nothin’ like this here contraption;
I been a long time on th’ range”,
Th’ cowpoke gazed at the’ driver, who still looked a little strange.
“An’, I don’t cotton t’ you makin’ fun of someone ya don’t even know;
An’ if ya got any sense at all, son, ya better fire it up an’ go.
Th’ driver had lost his cavalier mood, an’ he got out t’ turn th’ crank;
Th’ cowpoke saw all th’ work that it took, put his heel in his horses’ flank --
So, turnin’ his horse, away he did ride – took hisself to th’ nearest bar,
An’later that night, while more than jest tipsy, told of meetin’ with th’ car.
An’ now at th’ end of this story, a conclusion must be seen;
Neither th’ cowpoke nor none of his listeners could know what th’ Lizzies would mean –
They were th’ beginnin’ of th’ gasoline age, th’ ignition of th’ torch,
That would burn themselves into history as th’ end of th’ cowboy an’ horse.
Which brings to mind a sayin’ of Will Rogers –
“America will be the first nation in history to go to the poorhouse in an automobile!”
Donna Penley is a Cowgirl Poet with deep Kansas roots who has been writing cowboy poetry for over twenty five years. She is a real Cowgirl and an ex-barrel racer.
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