By Steve Lucas
Well folks, I turned 40 this week, and my Dad turned 70 last month. I can't say I feel any different than I did seven or eight years ago, except my hair is a little grayer, I move a little slower, and I need a little more sleep. I can't figure these guys who seem to go through a mid-life crisis when they turn 40 and get depressed and all. Anyway, to celebrate this milestone, I decided to write myself a poem, and share it with you.
Turnin' forty in most occupations
is a time of great commotion,
'Cause most businesses in our nation
put a lot of stock in motion.
And you slow down some at forty,
and your hair gets a lot more gray
And maybe you're not quite as sporty,
and folks begin to say:
That you're over the hill and full bore
down that steep decline.
But when a cowboy reaches two score,
He's just entering his prime.
'Cause it takes some time to master
The skills cowboys acquire.
There's no school to teach 'em faster,
How to use balin' wire
To fix fences, trucks, and tractors,
And things that will not go.
There are lots of other factors
And things cowboys need to know.
Like when to help a cow give birth,
And when to let her be.
To know at a glance a feller's worth,
And to scan the herd and see
That two or three are missin,'
Or a calf is in distress.
To know that gal you're kissin',
And how to sort the mess
Of cows and calves at weanin'
Without loosing your cool.
To know a red sky's meanin,
And when not to act the fool.
To know the bogs and thickets,
and places old cows hide.
And what can punch your ticket,
And how it feels inside
To go about your working
Without complaint or fuss,
No cussin,' yellin,' or jerkin,'
Is a lesson for all of us.
A cowboy's not worth his salt,
'till he's seen forty years.
It takes time for him to know his faults,
And to have heartaches and tears.
There's energy in youth, I'm guessin,'
But in age there's experience.
So gettin' old must be a blessing!
And I'll bet my last ten cents,
That the cowboss will always pick
Experience over energy.
So the job offers should come in thick
When a cowboy turns seventy.
©1997 Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing
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