Old Skip


“I used to ride Ol’ Skip to school,”
The old cowboy said with a smile
“Then Dad sold him to a rodeo man
And I had to walk those miles.

I started into rodeo
A few years after that
And I was riding pretty high
‘Til a bucking horse laid me flat.

See, I had made it to the Finals
And Casey Tibbs was pulling flank
‘Start him out easy’ was the advice he gave
‘Or this horse will go plumb rank.’

As I straddled that bronc in the bucking chute
And took in his spur-scarred hide
I noticed a nick out of one ear
And a chill ran down my spine.

It was Ol’ Skip, the horse I rode
To school those years ago
Well I settled on and set my spurs
And nodded to start the show.

I could hear ol’ Casey yelling
And with a whoop I poured it on
That old horse just bogged his head
And this cocky kid was gone.

I lay face down in the arena dirt
And Ol’ Skip – he just stopped dead
I walked over and pulled off the flank
And he quietly dropped his head.

‘What the hell’ I thought and grabbed the shank
And as the crowd gave a nervous moan
I swung into the saddle and rode away on the horse
Who had always carried me home.