Heel Chains & Jingle Bells


The feed sleigh bobs are frozen down
It’s time to jack them loose
Put warm grain bags upon the seat
To warm my old caboose

The lines are stiff, but soon they’ll thaw
As through my mitts they slide
Whoa to stop, hup to go
There’s no more smoother ride

Than sliding across the snow-packed earth
Where yesterday grew grain
Now cattle string out behind the sleigh
To get some hay again

Day in day out, until the thaw
They listen for the ring
Of heel chains and jingle bells
That makes this prairie sing

Oh, some I know, they curse the snow
As they slip and slide
But those that know, we love the snow
To feel the sleigh bobs glide

I’ve heard the bells on Christmas morn
The ancient rancher’s song
Of heel chains and jingle bells
It’s the prairie Christmas song.

Heel Chains & Jingle Bells © 2019 by Terri Mason, was written for this issue, to help celebrate Christmas, draft horses, her mentor and friend, Tom Wraight, and all of the great long-line teamsters who are her lifelong friends. Merry Christmas, everyone!