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On the Edge of Common Sense: Sandhills Savior

Contributed by Baxter Black Published on 23 June 2017

In the sandhills of Nebraska
stands a monument of wills
Where man has staked his claim
to them blowin’, rollin’ hills

Where the buffalo once scattered
in the bunch grass, belly deep,
A whiteface calf, contented,
sucks his mama, half asleep.

But you cannot know the beauty
or appreciate the past
Unless you know the reason cows
could stay and man could last.

For humankind is greedy
and the babies need to eat
So to the rancher-farmer
fell the task of growin’ meat.

The fertile black dirt farmland
runnin’ up and down the Platte
Got covered up with people,
their driveways and their cat

And them that lived in cities
saw no use for sandhills land
So the cattlemen and cowboys
come up north to try their hand.

They treated her with reverence
and learned what Indians knew
That it cannot take abusin’
‘cause she’s fragile through and through

And they learned a crucial factor
to keep them cows alive
Takes more than snow and sunlight;
it takes water to survive.

So they dug their dainty windmills
and pumped life outta the ground
It allowed the cows to flourish
so the people stayed around

Then little townships prospered
and you can see by now,
They’ve built a whole existence
upon the humble cow.

From Thedford to Hyannis,
from Valentine to Rose
Across that sandy country
where the prairie grass still grows

You’ll see those man-made daisies,
silhouettes against the sky
Their steel petals gleaming
on their stalks 18 feet high.

On Nebraska highway 20
or state road 83
There’s a million creakin’ windmills
standin’ proud for you to see.

They represent a people
and the land they’re livin’ in
The lifeblood of the sandhills
spinnin’ freely in the wind.  end mark

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