We all are encouraged to make New Year’s resolutions. From what I’ve been reading it seems most “regular” folks are resolving mainly to lose weight and exercise more.
Cowboy promises are different. When I asked my lanky friend Wilford about his, he thought a bit and then asked, “You mean it’s a new year already?”
When I said it is, he thought some more as he loaded feed into the pickup. Finished, he took his snuff from his hip pocket and said as he dipped some, “I probably oughta not use so much of this stuff.”
He thought some more, and finally said, “I need to take better care of my horses’ feet — trim their hooves and keep them shod, specially when I wanta go to a team roping.” Then he grinned. “Now that’s a bad habit I could try to slow down. That roping gets in the way of lots of stuff — costs a lot of money, too.”
Then he grinned again. “Sure is fun, though.”
“I’ve noticed,” I said as I hopped into the pickup, “that everything really fun is either illegal or on the disapproved lists of a bunch of folks.”
“That’s right,” he said. By then we were at the first windmill drinking tub, ready to break the ice. “I’d like to fix it where I didn’t have to do this ice breaking all the time,” Wilford said. “Maybe I should make a resolution to get a solar water-melter rig.”
I said, “So far you’ve come up with slowing down on snuff, taking better care of your horses, team roping less and a solar ice melter. Pretty good.”
We were back in the pickup again when he looked sideways at me and said, “What about you? You got any resolvings?”
My turn to think. While I was thinking he prompted, “What about not asking personal questions of your friends – like their resolutions?”
I felt myself blush. “You’re right.”
He had the horn honking and the cattle were coming to meet us by the time I thought of something. “I think we should resolve to speak up for saving our way of life in places where it counts.”
“That’s a biggie,” Wilford said. “The only problem is nobody listens except our friends. We should get an award for ‘preaching to the choir.’”
The cattle had strung out behind us and were hungrily gathering up the range cubes we’d dumped in the dry grass.
As I watched I went ahead and said what I’d thought for a long time.
“It’s the jealousy factor. Our adversaries in the cities only see the fun parts, not the awful hardships so they say, “If we can’t have that you can’t, either. We’re going to take it away from you.”
Wilford was quiet as we drove to the next pasture. After I closed the gate and got back in the pickup he said, “You might be onto something. We need to show the not-fun parts. Meanwhile, I betcha five dollars my green-broke palomino can outrun your bay mare.”
“You’re on,” I said. “Resolutions be danged.”