The Range Cook’s “Holler”

They sing of the puncher — that knight of the range who rounds up the bellerin’ steer;
Who rides at the head of the midnight stampede with nary a symptom of fear.
They tell of his skill with the six-gun and rope, but nobody mentions the dub
Who trails the chuck-wagon through desert and plain and never yet failed with the grub!

The weather may find us in rain or in mud; may bake us or sizzle us down;
The treacherous quicksands may mire us deep, and the leaders and wheelers may drown;
The blizzards may howl and the hurricane blow, or settlers may camp on our trail,
But nary excuse will the foreman accept for havin’ the chuckwagon fail.

For off on the range is the puncher who rides through the buckbrush and sage and mesquite,
With an appetite fierce for the bacon we fry, and the slapjacks we bake him to eat.
And we must be waitin’ with grub smokin’ hot when he comes a-clatterin’ in,
No matter what troubles we’ve bucked up a’gin, or what our delays may have been.

So, in singin’ yer songs of the men of the plains who trail it through desert and pine,
Who rough it from north of the border clear down to the Mexican line,
Don’t give all the due to the puncher of steers, but chip in some dope of the dub
Who trails the chuckwagon in sun or in storm, and never yet failed with the grub!


The Range Cook’s “Holler” by E. A. Brininstool, from Trail Dust of a Maverick, 1914. Brininstool was a cowboy poet but was not a working cowboy. He lived most his life in Los Angeles and rubbed elbows with Will Rogers and Charles Russell, who met regularly as part of a western artists group at the University Club in L.A. He is best known for Trail Dust of a Maverick (1914) and Bozeman Trail (1922).

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