When cowboys make small talk while watching the cows, their conversation is referred to as “shooting the breeze.”
But what is it called when cows make small talk while being watched by the cowboys? And if cows really were shootin’ the breeze, what would be their subject matter?
Steve Lucas took a stab at answering that question, and gave us an answer that could only have come from a cowboy and a poet.
Hattie Hereford and Angie Angus were loafin’ in the trees
Chewin’ cud and swattin’ flies and sniffin’ at the breeze
Hattie says to Angie, “Girl, let me tell you now,
There ain’t a critter anywhere with a life as good as a cow.”
“Just eat grass and walk to water, then lay around and chew,
No one lookin’ over your shoulder, no one to tell you what to do.”
Angie replied to Hattie, “I don’t want to cause you strife,
But there must be more purpose to an old cow’s life,
Than eatin’ weeds and being feed for buzzards, wolves and bears,
Or windin’ up in a Big Mac, or being part of boots or chairs.
I can’t believe the Creator would make such a noble beast
With the sole purpose of being humans’ feast.”
“The true purpose of our lives,” responded Hattie, “has nothing to do with meat,
Or lion, tigers, footwear, or fancy leather seats.
The true objective of our lives, I will gladly share,
Is to make life miserable for cowboys everywhere.
We do our best to complicate their lives, to make every task a chore,
To let them know that we’re in charge, it’s a cow-cowboy war.
That’s why we calve in thickets, preferring snow or rain.
We mash their fingers and stomp their toes to maximize the pain.
We Jump over every saggin’ fence and head for the farthest gate
When they’ve got a place to be, we always make them late.
It’s a service we provide to cowboys absolutely free
To give them subject matter for their cowboy poetry.”
– Steve Lucas
We hope you enjoyed this poem by Steve Lucas, and that it has helped you understand the issue of bovine psychology. In any case, you at least understand what these beasts might be thinking when you drive by them on the road. And most importantly, you have that much greater of an appreciation for the hard work that cowboys have always done.
So thank God for cows, because without them cowboys wouldn’t have to be as tough, and they also wouldn’t have any subject matter for their poetry.