September 10, 2008

The Heifer's Last Waltz

For a couple of years I rented a pasture located in downtown Sandy, Utah. It was the remnants of an old pioneer farm that had been in the owner’s family for several generations. There was a good barn and a ramshackle cooling house located over what is now a dry streambed. The remains of a pioneer era covered wagon sat next to the north side of the barn. As I would work the area, I put together a collection of old metal, iron and rusted hardware that had fallen to the ground through the years. There was certain nostalgia to it all that I enjoyed. I must have liked the place more than the escapee heifer described in this poem. Either that or she knew instinctively that her time was near and that she needed to make a break for it while she still had a chance. On the other hand, cattle just break down fences, no matter where and no matter when.

The Heifer’s Last Waltz
by Paul Kern

I still try to forget it but I don’t know how,
The hole in the fence from a Black Angus cow.
She waltzed on through and went AWOL,
Right in front of Sandy City Hall.

We parked the stock trailer next to the gate,
Fourteen police officers stood there to wait,
We mounted our horses me and Pete my son,
Atop Duke and Toby the cow bolted to run.

To the hole in the fence where the police had been,
They ran off with a yell and a raisin’ a din.
A crowd gathered ‘round with hoots and yells,
This uptown rodeo had all the whistles and bells.

It was left up to us to pen this black cow,
We had to get her into that old trailer – now,
Pete cut her off left and tailed for a bit,
I spurred Duke right and the cow threw a fit.

She charged the fence - Toby gave no ground,
Duke nipped at her flanks as he worked her around,
Toby blocked her path by the trailer and truck,
With Duke at a lope this black heifer was stuck.

Into the trailer she jumped and so ended the fun,
The waltz was over - the course had been run,
So we shut the trailer and then entered the street,
And took that heifer down to Gary’s Meat.

Where they arrange for the hooved and for the hairy,
That last rendezvous with the hamburger fairy.

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