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Across the fence: A cowboy’s countdown to Christmas

Marci Whitehurst for Progressive Cattle Published on 22 November 2019

It’s the beginning of December
And cowboys around the globe,
Are counting down to Christmas,
The calves have been sold!

The end-of-year books are open,
So it’s time to evaluate.
Did we keep all the receipts we need –
Can we buy a truck, a cow, a gate?

It’s time to pay the annual bills,
Prepare for next year with the calf check.
If we are lucky there aren’t doctor bills,
‘Cause someone had a wreck.

Then there’s planning for the weather,
We don’t know what’s in store.
We’ve got our scotch caps and our coveralls,
Hanging by the door.

The feed truck has had its maintenance,
As much as can be done.
All that sputtering that it did last year,
We are hopeful she will run.

You see this time of year includes
Checking on the stock.
Especially when temperatures tank,
Which can happen quite a lot.

A cowboy’s Christmas countdown,
Includes a visit to the store.
Yet beyond the wrapping paper,
Is a regular list of chores.

Don’t forget to seal the cracks,
Along the barn’s exterior.
Be ready for the snow to blow,
Don’t slip on your posterior.

Make sure the additive is in the fuel,
So nothing liquid turns to gel.
And are there any cull cows or bulls,
That we still want to sell?

The computer files are filling up,
Hopefully the haystack is replete.
Yet there’s also a show on Netflix,
We’ve been hopeful to complete.

There’s a load of firewood,
To cut and split and haul.
So that the living room is warm enough,
During every winter squall.

Then there’s the growing list of projects,
For our “extra” winter time.
Like wheel line repair and care,
If that time we ever find.

Amid it all, we really hope,
To film good cattle interactions.
So that positive publicly,
Will dissolve negative distractions.

Yet beyond the winter work load,
Comes a cowboy’s Christmas cheer.
For a cowboy knows the meaning,
Of treasuring all that’s dear.

He might arrange a winter sleigh ride,
Or help a neighbor who’s down and out.
But you’ll probably never know his name,
When accolades are handed out.

For the finest of the cowboys,
Hold deep integrity,
For they do what means the most,
When no one ever sees.

If you see a cowboy’s wish list,
It’s likely to be short.
A gun, some socks, perhaps a hat,
He’s happy with what he’s got.

If you probe him a bit further,
Big dreams will likely spout.
Land increases, cattle herd growth,
Minus a bank note to pay out.

Overall he knows though,
The deep meaning of the season.
And he’ll bend a knee in thankfulness,
To Him who is the reason.  end mark



Digital edition preview LATEST ISSUE

July 2020




  • How COVID-19 Has Impacted Beef and Cattle Ranchers

    The past several months have been dominated by food supply chain bottlenecks and challenges unlike anything the agriculture sector had experienced before. Factors directly impacting American ranchers in 2020 include:

    • An abrupt shift in consumer demand;
    • Slaughterhouse and meat packing plant closures;
    • Halts in global trade; and
    • Commodity price volatility.
    Read more