Cowboy Poetry: “Choya Boy” by Jay Johnson

In this poem, Mother Nature causes trouble at a peaceful cow camp.

Out where my cow camp’s at, it’s peaceful and serene
But there’s reminders that if she’s a mind to, Ma Nature can be awful mean.

Sure I know gopher holes are hard on your horse, and how them snakes all affect us,
But the worst thing she did out there was plant so much Choya cactus.

See the Choya’s a prickly, spindly ole thing, kinda looks like a tree
Sometimes it’s as tall as a man, sometimes only up to your knee.

Some patches grow so thick ya can barely ride through with no pain
Others I swear ya’d pick up a needle, even flying over in a plane.

Anyhow my little brother had come out to lend a hand for a couple of days
Actually he didn’t help out so much, mostly all he did was play.

Anyway today he was jogging along like most nine-year-old boys do
Wasn’t watching where he’s going, was looking down at his tennie shoes.

And me, well I was gathering wood for the fire later on that night
When I heard him squall like a mashed cat, I knew something wasn’t right.

I dropped the wood I was carrying, then I ran out of the trees
Saw Bob across the arroyo with his britches ‘round his knees.

Then he hollered out, with tears in his little eyes
“I ran into a Choya and now I’m done paralyzed”.

I ran over to him and them needles we began to pull
And by golly let me tell ya, that boy was sure poked plumb full.

Pulled ‘em all, looked like he’d live, so I carried him back to camp
But I knew he was hurting cause his eyes were kinda damp.

So doctoring commenced, and I slathered him up with Bag Balm, real good
And to help stop the pain, I figure a couple of aspirin should.

Gave him a glass of water so them aspirin he could chase
But what happened next put a dumbfounded look upon my face.

Now you may not believe me, and I know where liars go
But water started spurting out of all them little holes.

He’d done sprung so many leaks he’s wetting down my floor
So, buck naked and a sprinkling I shoved him out the door.

But a fantastic idea overtook me as I stood there watching him soak the ground
Why if I gave him a gallon jug, and then kinda trotted him around;

See it ain’t rained for a month; the grass is short and pert near gone
But with this Choya Boy a irrigating, inside a week my camp would have a lawn.

So stop by my cow camp some time and pull up a lawn chair in the shade
And we’ll enjoy the tiny little lawn that me and Choya Boy have made.

Oh, I’d like to make it bigger, but that’s the way it goes
Cause Choya Boy gets mighty feisty when I try to attach him to a hose.

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