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The Rowdy Cowpoke

A young cowpoke decides to have some fun with a harmless looking old prospector who wanders into town, and makes him dance to his six gun. But, when it’s over the old prospector, tough as nails, grabs a shotgun, and turns the tables. The young cowpoke is given the choice to kiss the butt of the old man’s mule, or face two loaded barrels of a ten gauge shotgun. Guess which he chooses? This cowboy poem was inspired by a popular western joke told often on the internet.
©2011 by Jon Gutmacher
The old man limped into the town
as he slowly led his mule
his clothes were dry
his throat was parched
but still
he hummed a tune

He’d prospected long
without much luck
in mountains filled with streams
but the town was dry
the air was hot
and the streets were stark
and mean

He wandered in
the one saloon
and stood there by the bar
he plunked a coin
for whisky hard
it’d been
a long, long time

And then some punk
a cowboy bad
came wandering up to him
He said: “Ol, man – you’d better dance
“or I’ll shoot you where you stand”

He began to fire
at his feet
and laughed at his great joke
the Old man danced
to save his feet
his dignity up in smoke

The shooting stopped
the crowd just laughed
an old man wasn’t much
but all those years
living off the land
meant
he really had the stuff

He turned around
and walked straight out
he didn’t even touch his drink
and from the sidepack on the mule
his shotgun
did he seek

The cowboy punk
still laughing there
suddenly did he see
two barrels of a ten gauge load
held
way, too steadily

“Young man”, he said
“you’re lickered up
“it’s time a lesson learned
“for those who joke
“to those with grit
“are bound to get real burned

The young punk raised his hands
in fear
he knew he’d done him wrong
and then the Old man looked at him
and whistled a little song

“Young, man – I think
“a chance I’ll give
“have yer ever kissed a big mule’s butt?
“cause if you don’t
“you’d better pray
“cause you’re runnin’ outta luck

The cowboy gulped
no longer drunk
his mind as clear as rain
he nodded once
and then he said
what folks tell here . . .
with a certain amount of pain:

“I never have
“but I see your point
“and I guess it’s time to learn
“I’ve always wanted to kiss one there
“Yes, sir!
“if that’s the game”

And that cowpoke kissed
the old mule’s butt
humble as could be
and then he extended
a sorry arm
and said – what’s been told
to me

“I did you wrong
“I see that now
“and I’ve repaid the debt
“I’ve kissed that mule
“and learned a lesson
“that I will not forget

And the Old man took
that young man’s arm
and shook it
once
then twice
and then he said
“Son, there’s good in you
“and I’m glad you took
“my advice”

And then they both
walked in the bar
and both picked up a glass
and the barman said
this round is free . . .

That’s exactly
how it passed . . .

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