A storm was brewin’ in the north
Whence the bad ones usually came
Yet the boy and his dog did as always
For them it was just the same.
Their chore was to get the milkcows
Maybe 30 or a little more
Grazin’ in a good-sized pasture
Mesquite and prairie dogs galore!
The cows had gotten as far as they could
Strung out along the fence
Prepared for the rain and wind to blow
Turned rumps their only defense.
A real mystery about the cows
Why they didn’t head for the barn
Get under shelter, be bone dry
And stay where they could be warm.
Cows were dumb, he knew that
But for ol’ Bob lots of fun
Scamperin’ around sniffin’ at bushes
Constantly on the run.
His dog knew exactly where they were
Barked to get ‘em to move
Growled a lot as he pulled their tails
Somehow dodgin’ their hooves!
Finally at a trot ol’ Bess went
Full udder swingin’ to the side
Lowered her head as she swiped at the dog
Mostly as a matter of pride.
He didn’t blame ‘em for doin’ that
Not even cows like a bark
Got on their nerves like naggin’---
Then suddenly it got dark!
“Get ‘em, Bob! Go, Boy!”
Anxious to get it done
With the wind blowin’ like sixty
Wanted to be on the run!
2 Lost sight of his little dog
Likely chasin’ a cow
Rain swept along in slantin’ sheets
Streamin’ off his furrowed brow!
In the howl of the wind he heard barkin’
Right where the cows had stood
Hunchin’ shoulders to face the storm
Called out loud as he could!
Ol’ Bob acted like he didn’t hear
Maybe that was the case
Lowered his head against the wind
Tryin’ to protect his face!
“What’re you doin’!” he yelled
Finally spottin’ his hound
Jumpin’ excitedly from side to side
Barkin’ at somethin’ on the ground!
The shakin’ rattle caught his eye
Black tongue dartin’ like a gun
Rooted him to the spot where standin’
Hadn’t been for Bob he’d a run!
A big ‘un all right
At least the size of his arm
Looked hastily around for a stick to use
So nobody’d come to harm!
Emboldened the little dog lunged
And the snake began to hiss
He flailed with the limb grabbed from the ground
In the haste did nothin’ but miss!
Too far away to do it right
Had to give a good hard lick
Dropped what he had to look for another
A bigger and heavier stick.
All too short or rotten
Broke when tapped on the ground
Finally found one that might be all right
Over by a prairie dog mound.
3 Wind was blowin’ harder
Pants’ legs whipped with a pop
He made it back to his barkin’ dog
Never had a thought to stop!
v “Stay back!” he yelled at his dog
Worried he might get bit
Not sure how far a snake could jump
Or what it’d do when it lit!
Leanin’ over he swung the stick
By a mile missed the head
Mad at the snake for movin’
Wished the thing already dead!
“Get outta the way!” he nudged the dog
Raised the stick up high
Quick as lightnin’ the big snake struck
Hit ol’ Bob in the eye!
The dog yelped and backed away
Draggin’ the snake along
Stunned he watched as the fangs released
Knew it’d turned out wrong!
As the rattler turned loose he swung the stick
Killin’ the snake outright
In a cryin’ fit he pounded the body
As his little dog staggered out of sight.
Pitch black except for the lightnin’
Rain pourin’ down in the wind
He cradled ol’ Bob and stumbled along
Prayin’ it was not the end.
By the luckiest chance because so dark
Came upon his searchin’ Dad
Who listened as he choked out the story
Took the dog to see how bad.
“You did all you could, Son.
“Too bad about ol’ Bob!”
Placed big hands on his son’s shoulders
As the boy began to sob!