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On the Edge of Common Sense: Gerald Two Bears and Billy Strike

Contributed by Baxter Black Published on 25 January 2016

Gerald Two Bears was the foreman of the tribal branding crew.

Lots of Indians who were cowboys came to do what they could do.

Billy Strike was good at roping,
and his medicine was strong,
And he roped ’em automatic
’til misfortune came along.

He roped a good-size heifer calf,
but he roped her ’round the neck.

She ran behind his horse’s butt
and put ’em both in check.
The rope slid underneath his tail,
which spooked the pony some,
So, of course, he went to pitching.
’Cause the nylon chafed his bum.

Now like I said, that Billy’s tough
and wouldn’t quit his dally,
The rope was holding him down tight.
Made every peak and valley.

His horse was snorting up the dirt
like he was sweepin’ mines
And kickin’ himself sideways
like a spring when it unwinds.

Billy blew his left-hand stirrup,
so he leaned against the tide
But his saddle got some cockeyed,
slippin’ off the other side.

His dally peeled off the horn.
His anchor chain had broke.
Billy flew like Humpty Dumpty
– and came down and broke his yolk.

Gerald Two Bears ran to Billy
who lay still upon the ground.
He said, “Billy, are you all right?”
Billy never made a sound.

He listened for his breathing
but he lay so awfully still
He said, “Billy, can you hear me?”
Then, with superhuman will,

Billy’s eyelid raised, his eyeball turned
and swiveled toward the source
Gerald leaned up close and whispered,
“Billy, can I have your horse?”  end mark