The Chuck Wagon



She ain’t what she was in the days of her glory.

Fer years she has stood in the cottonwood shade.

But if she could talk, she could tell you some story,

Of her days on the range, and the part that she played.


The old mess box built in her back, is still standin’.

But the canvas is gone that we put on her bows.

Each year she went out fer the round up and brandin’,

And came back from the beef hunt along with the snows.


When we got on the camp ground I sure did admire,

How the cook and the wrangler would unhitch the team.

Then they throwed the old dutch oven into the fire —

Them biscuits he baked I can taste in my dreams.



With the boys sleepin’ ’round her she looked sort of lonely,

Like a small country church in a little grave yard.

But she looked plenty good when you slid off your pony,

When you came into camp fer to wake the next guard.


But the wagon was home and we gathered around her’

Chuck riders came in when the pickin’s was short;

Some of ’em would eat till they’d mighty nigh founder —

It was there in the night we held kangaroo court.


I liked them old hands with their gaze cool and level.

They furnished the subject fer many a tale.

It was little they feared either man, beast or devil,

Them riders that follered the chuck wagon’s trail.


But the time I liked best, as I clearly remember;

Is one every cow puncher likes to recall.

When the work was all finished along in November,

And he follered the chuck wagon home in the fall.