A hairy question

sunset, cowboy

Should cowboys always have some hair? I’d really like to know. Does a cowboy’s

face without some hair leave too much mug to show?

If you’re born a real good-looker like Eastwood and Redford are, you may not

want to hide it, though you ain’t no cowboy star.

But if your looks are somewhat plain, let’s say like Gabby Hayes, just slap a beard

right on your face. Sure helped his cowboy days.

Now if you’re thinking “mustache,” Sam Elliot is your man. He’s got a real nice

healthy one. Grow that kind, if you can.

Most cowboys that I know don’t really fancy facial hair, but let me tell you ’bout

one guy. And this is true, I swear.

A few years back, we hired a hand who wore a full red beard. It also had some

streaks of brown, ‘cuz he did something weird.

His mouth was always full of chew. I never saw him spit. When that juice drooled

out into his beard, he rubbed it in a bit.

Now if he hadn’t had that beard, where would his juice have gone? Good thing

he had some facial hair for it to land upon.

My homely face grows hair just fine, but what about on top? I use a hat to cover

up that gone-forever crop.

So I’ve tried to think about a way to get some hair up there. If others have it, I

should, too. It’s really only fair.

If I could take a chunk of hide and hair right off my chest and sew it where I need

it most, I’d look my Sunday best.

My good friend said, “I think you’re nuts. You’ve lost your brains somewhere.”

That’s an easy thing for him to say. He’s got a head of hair.

For some, there’s lots of hair up there. For some, it’s on the face. Don’t worry if

you’re hair-deprived. It’s really no disgrace.

Now about my question. Should a cowboy have some hair? I guess there’s no

one answer. Maybe shouldn’t even care.


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Bryce Angell’s father was an outfitter and guide for 35 years, and Bryce was there to shoe and care for the horses and help him do the cooking. Bryce is from Idaho and still rides into the Tetons, Yellowstone and surrounding areas. His poems are mostly of personal experience.



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