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"Thanksgiving on the High Lonesome"


Ever’ year bout this time, sumthin' special happens out here in the high lonesome country. The lady up at the big house tells the foreman that she has a chore for the hands on Thursday morning bright and early.

Well most times this is some dammed thing that is just plumb insultin’ to a cowhand, like spading up the garden, or fixin’ up the fence round the house where that bull went through last month.

This little chore is differ’nt though and the hands gather at the back door right after breakfast and there ain’t any gripin’ about this one.

The lady gives ever’ hand there a basket or a bundle all wrapped up plumb fancy and gives him instructions on where it is to go.

Man, you ought to get a whiff of some of them parcels, smells so good that it makes your mouth water. Gets right temptin' it does, but the last word that lady sed afore them boys rode out is ringin’ in their ears. "You fellers stay out of them bundles you hear? Or I’ll have your hides stretched out on the wall of the barn!!!", she hollered in a threathenin’ manner laced with a grin as wide as the barn door.

The men busted out of that yard with them bundles tied on the backs of saddles or looped around a saddle horn, at a high lope and with a yell that could be heard for a mile.

Now I have never for the life of me figgered out how them wimmen do it, but them fellers ride for the borders of the ranch in ever’ direction to where it butts up agin the neighbor’s fence line. Now this is the part I never got ciphered out, when he gits there, there will be a rider comin’ from the other direction just as sure as cactus has got stickers.

That other outfit’s headquarters might be 20 miles away, but there comes a rider just sure as shootin’ and he’s got a basket or a bundle tied on his pony too.

Well, them fellers meet there on the fence line. Mebbe they know each other or have rid together at one time or another over the years. Don’t really matter, they shake hands and give a "Howdy".

Them fellers will throw a leg up over the saddle horn, mebbe smoke a "roll your own" and jest mebbe, one of them will have a flask in their saddle bag.

Them fellers will "jaw" a little and find out all the latest news there is to tell, but they don’t stay long. Another nip out of that jug and a "See ya down the trail!" and they are back on the way home.

Now one other thing has happened while this was goin’ on. Them fellers has traded them parcels they was a carryin’ on their horses and there is new enticing aromas to be smelled.

Round about noon all them hands is back, and has unsaddled their ponies and fed them an extra handful of grain and is headed for the cookhouse.

They present the lady with the things they have brought and go wash up and put on their other shirt and levi’s and slick back their hair.

They all gather there in the cook house and there on the table is the dammest collection of goodies you could ever imagine. There is rolls and biscuits, and canned berry jellies and jams, and pies and cakes and there just ain’t no end to it.

Now mebbe them pies and cakes is a little mashed from the jostlin' on the trip home but it don’t make any difference. This here is such a special day that a little thing like that ain’t even noticed.

Bout that time the Boss’s lady brings in the biggest ol turkey you have ever seen and sez "Sit down boys, chow’s on!!!"

Well she don’t have to repeat it, I can tell you for plumb certain. She sets the turkey down in the center of the table and sez, "Shall we thank the Big Boss for this spread?"

Well sir, for about the only time that year that they feel like they really got a home, them fellers bow their heads and listen to that lady as she offers thanks for all that has happened to all of them in the last year.

When she says Amen, them boys nod their heads and say their Amens with more sincerity than anyone sittin’ in a church with a bell and stained glass winders.

Then she sez, "Dig in boys, it’s Thanksgiving!!!"

Well friends, that is how they did it in the old days. Things has changed with the times, but the feelings and the kindness of the season are the same.

So from our outfit to yours,

We are sending a bundle of best wishes for Thanksgiving and the coming holiday season.

Seeya down the trail! Iggy and Itchy (Chip & Linda)

Chip Harding

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