When Santa Came To The Badlands
(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the bunkhouse,
Not a critter wuz stirrin’, not even the fieldmouse.
The stockin’s wuz hung by the winder’ with care,
Along with the longjohns and setch-like, (to air).
The trail hands wuz bundled clear down in their bedrolls,
A-wishin’ the wind wouldn’t whip through the knotholes.
Me ‘n’ the missus was settled in too,
She wuz a snorin’, (she’d throwed back a few).
When out in the barnyard, I heard such a ruckus,
I jumped outa bed and fell right on my toches!
Up to the winder, I crawled on my knees,
The door on my longjohns a-flappin’ in the breeze.
The moon wuz a-shinin’ down on the sage brush,
And the pasture beyond looked right purty ‘n’ lush.
Now, all of a sudden, right out of the sky,
Come a high-buckin’ bronc and a mad little guy.
He wuz hangin’ on fer dear life, and fumin’ and fussin’,
His eyes wuz bugged out, and Lord, wuz he cussin’!
“You ornery, you mangy, you Gol dern cayoose,
I’ll sell you fer dog food if ever I get loose”!
That horse jumped the high rail, the chicken coop, the pig slop,
Knocked over the outhouse, then come to a dead stop,
But that little old rider kept flyin’ sorta free style,
And he didn’t slow down til he hit the manure pile.
Now, the guys in the bunkhouse had gathered outside,
They’d been hootin’ and hollerin’ and ratin’ the ride.
When it was over, they settled right down,
And said, “that wuz more laughs than the cat house in town”!
“Should we go over and help him, ya reckon?
He went in head first, but his boots is still twitchin’.”
They pulled him out and, lookin’ fer some comfort to give,
Said, “ya smell purty bad, but I reckon you’ll live”.
When he finally spoke up, it was a good ‘un,
“I’ll shoot that damn horse, if you’ll give me a gun”!
Well, we busted up laughin’, and when we looked ‘round,
He wuz pickin’ his saddle bags up off the ground.
Then he reached down inside em, and wuz pullin’ out stuff,
Like lassos and canteens and if that were’nt enough,
There wuz new boots and spurs and shiny geegaws,
And that’s when old buck said, “why, yer Santy Clause”!
He spoke not a word til he emptied his bag,
Then turned to me and said, “where’s that old nag’?
I said, ”that’s rude, she’s sleepin’ of course”,
Then he said, “ you peckerwood, I meant my horse”!
We tightened the cinch, and gave him a leg up,
And handed his old empty saddle bag up,
Then he looked right down at us and said with a sneer,
This is it, I aint comin’ next year!
Sure, we wuz sad as old santy wuz leavin’
With nuthin’ to look forward to next Christmas season,
But I heard him cussin’ as he bucked fer the border,
“Merry Christmas! Next year it’s all comin’ mail-order!
Constance Lessard Briggs