Shippin' Cattle

Ann Rodriquez

Manheim, United States

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Artist's Description

This image that was captured at Pioneer Mountain Ranch near Dillon, Montana in the fall of 2008 reminds me of a poem by Bruce Kiskaddon. Though the poem refers more to the life of a cowboy out on the trail and less to an established camp/ranch, I’ll give you the privilege of reading a small portion of this great reflection on the essence of cowboyin’. If you’re interested in reading the full poem, it can be found easily through an internet search.

When They’ve Finished Shipping Cattle in the Fall
by Bruce Kiskaddon

Though you’re not exactly blue,
Yet you don’t feel like you do
In the winter, or the long hot summer days.
For your feelin’s and the weather
Seem to sort of go together,
And you’re quiet in the dreamy autumn haze.
When the last big steer is goaded
Down the chute, and safely loaded;
And the summer crew has ceased to hit the
ball;
When a fellow starts to draggin’
To the home ranch with the wagon —
When they’ve finished shipping cattle in the
fall.

Only two men left a standin’
On the job for winter brandin’,
And your pardner, he’s a loafing by your
side.
With a bran-new saddle creakin’,
But you never hear him speakin’,
And you feel it’s goin’ to be a quiet ride.
But you savvy one another
For you know him like a brother—
He is friendly but he’s quiet, that is all;
For he’ thinkin’ while he’s draggin’
To the home ranch with the wagon—
When they’ve finished shippin’ cattle in
the fall.

Artwork Comments

  • Al Bourassa
  • Ann Rodriquez
  • Sandy Hill
  • Ann Rodriquez
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