Western Poetry posted June 20, 2015


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Jerry Jing-Jang on the Trail

by Cindy Warren

The snow had melted and the days were warm
Jerry Jing-Jang kept the cattle safe from harm
Along trails with spring grasses all a-sprout
Knowing that rustlers lurked about.

Rusty the Rustler, the worst of them all
Had somehow escaped justice late last fall.
On Halloween night that outlaw he'd caught,
But Rusty'd slipped out of a very tight spot.

Warm spring sunshine and plenty of food
Had left the cattle in a lazy mood.
Cowboy and cowdog worked hard that day
To keep that herd on its way.

The work was so hard and the progress so slow
That when the crescent moon started to glow
Jerry Jing-Jang wasn't where he'd wanted to go
And he knew the advantage had gone to his foe.

"With Rusty out there this ain't no place to be
But Raven and Roundup are more tired than me.
I knows full well it's the wrong place to camp
It's gonna be hard to keep an eye on that scamp."

Jerry Jing-Jang lit a fire and sat down to think
With a slice of beef jerky and some coffee to drink.
"I knows that ol' Rusty, he ain't very far,
The dark won't help us; he knows full well where we are.

But I thinks that I knows how tonight's gonna be,
'Cause more than them cattle, ol' Rusty wants me."
So he rolled out his bedroll with a plan in his head,
"If I'm right I'll catch Rusty, if not I'll be dead."

Rusty sat watching for an hour or two
Planning and plotting what to do.
Jerry Jing-Jang was clever, that he knew
But with cowboy dead his troubles were few.

So he roped a heifer to use as a shield
And quietly crept across the field.
Gun drawn and ready to fight
He saw the bedroll by dim firelight.

He fired his gun and whooped with glee
"I've finished that cowboy and got away free!"
He fired once more just to be sure
Knew moments too late he'd been fooled by a lure.

He'd fallen for the oldest of cowboy tricks,
Jerry Jing-Jang's bed held nothing but sticks.
Rusty's arms roped so tight he had to stay put
'Cause if he fired his gun he'd shoot his own foot.

Jerry Jing-Jang then tied him up tight
And with his dog keeping watch slept through night.
Two days later, trembling and pale
Rusty was happy to see the jail.


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Raven is Jerry Jing-Jang's horse. Roundup is his dog. His previous adventures are available in my portfolio.
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