Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SLOTH (indolence; laziness) (01/29/15)
- TITLE: The Coffee Boiler
By Ann Grover
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
Just a wee lad in my prime,
I was wishin’ to roam away from my home
And hopin’ to make me a dime.
Though just a shave tail, I was hearty and hale,
Fittin’ for ridin’ the herd.
I had all the right clothes, from my brim to boot toes,
A saddle and lasso and spurs.
Ol’ Mister Clyde, he said, “Can you ride?”
“Of course, that’s a given,” I say.
He heaved a huge sigh and gave me the eye,
Like a heifer set out on display.
“You better work hard. Be out in the yard
Before the sun rises next day.”
That’s early, I thought, but Clyde is the boss,
Of the famed and great ranch, “Lazy J.”
That first morning out, they made me a scout
For the cows, so to move them abroad.
But I had to wait beside a closed gate,
So I sat, while my horse chewed the sod.
Then over the hill came Charlie and Bill,
A-flustered and a-fussin’ about.
What’s their dismay? We’ve got the whole day.
If we rush, we’re just gonna play out.
We were movin’ them cows; I was startin’ to drowse.
(I’d been up before dawn, recollect.)
“Let’s ease up and rest.” ”Surely you jest.”
(Them boys are Clyde’s pets, I expect.)
I yawned like a cat and adjusted my hat
So’s my eyes were hidden from sight
I had me a snooze. (They can sweat, if they choose.
It’s too hot for workin’, all right.)
By the time we got back, the sky was pitch black.
I was proud of the job I’d achieved.
To the cookhouse I went, eased my belly’s lament,
Then off for some sleep, I believed.
But the night was a-howl with racket most foul,
Them boys were a-whoopin’, loud-spoken.
Hooves all a-clatterin’, the cattle were scatterin’.
(Dint they see them fence wires were broken?)
I’ve got work to do when the sun hits the dew,
So I snuggled down deep in my roll.
At last, all was quiet; they’d ended the riot
And got all them cattle controlled.
When morning showed up, there was no coffee cup
Not even some bacon and eggs.
We got on the trail. (I moved two hay bales.
Did I mention my sore back and legs?)
Come sunup next day, they’s all playin’ valet,
A-cleanin’ and shinin’ their tack.
Their riggin’, they’re rubbin’ with old rags and Dubbin;
I ain’t got time for such slack.
I just spit on my boots and dust off my suit,
That’s all it takes to be tough.
No fiddlin’ with soap or coilin’ my rope,
I’ll be covered with grime soon enough.
Charlie and Bill weren’t needin’ my skills,
So I moseyed and sauntered along.
Admirin’ my looks in a slow-movin’ brook,
And hummin’ a cowboy song.
Around about two, my horse lost a shoe,
Which ended my toilsome effort.
I lay on my bed; three novels I read;
Won six games of one-sided checkers.
Then ol’ Mister Clyde, he pulled me aside
And said I had no heart for toilin’.
“I’m callin’ your bluff, now pack up your stuff.
You can’t even set coffee to boilin’.”
(I fumed and I fussed and I spit in the dust.)
“You’re not worth the beans that you ate.
Not much of a hand, you’re work-shy. You’re canned.
When you leave, catch the latch on the gate.”
So ends my career of herdin’ the steers
And heifers and ridin’ the range.
It’s all for the best; I’m needin’ a rest,
And a rest is as good as a change.
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