Here’s “Dale Beaver,” reciting poetry to his trusty steed, “Flintlock” during National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Week. Also, here’s one of Flintlock’s favorite cowboy poems: Mama Zane by D.W. Mailand. As luck would have it, Mailand has an entire book of poems — most of them based on real life events, entitled Dead Mouse: and Other Misteaks.
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Let’s hear it for the Powell kid who went the “extra mile”
To mother-up his calves and cows in true Montana Style.
He trailed his pairs along the crick in very early spring.
He wore his parka, longjohns, mitts, boots, chaps and everything.
They trailed along till suddenly, the scene was not so nice.
One little calf was floating down the crick among the ice!
He couldn’t let his new calf drown and hear its mama bawl.
With motherly abandon, RESCUE overshadowed all!
While shedding clothes, he ran and dived into that icy stream.
(No witness but the cows and horse to hear him cuss and scream.)
He fought his way across and grabbed that shaking, soggy mass,
Then fought back, just in time to keep from freezing off his …legs.
He felt a little like a cow, fierce guardian of her young,
As he went to re-unite the pair. (Where did that calf belong?)
A mother’s love sustained him while he saw and acted quick,
But the calf had come from the neighbor’s herd…
From the other side of the crick.
—© D.W. Mailand