A snail’s pace


We’d saddled up our horses at the trailhead in the Park.
For a ride through Yellowstone in hopes of getting done ‘fore dark.

We started at Old Faithful on a brisk October day
and were aiming for the Ranger Station thirty miles away.

I could hear the click as saddle bags were buckled in their places.
I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so many grinning faces.

The horses’ breaths were steaming in the cold October air.
An hour into daylight, not a minute’s time to spare.

With four new lady riders who’d be bringing up the tail,
our traveling would be slower than a ninety-year-old snail.

The ladies were beginners.  I’m not saying they weren’t smart.
But they made the biggest blunder stopping at a Mini-Mart.

The gals tanked down on Diet Coke like there was no tomorrow.
If only they’d have realized no daylight time to borrow.

We’d barely left the trailhead, only rode a mile or so.
When their Diet Coke would travel south. So then they had to “Go.”

We helped the ladies climb on down. Into the woods they went.
Then helped each one back on her horse, just like a proper gent.

The snail brigade moved down the trail but stopped when (wouldn’t you know?)
Another lady called out loud, “I really gotta go!”

So once again we helped her down and then back on her steed.
I warned them all, “We’re running late.  We should pick up the speed.”

We rode a few more miles, and then I heard a desperate plea,
“I know we’re short of time, but please, I really gotta pee!”

How many times in one day can a person really go?
I hesitated asking ‘cuz I didn’t want to know.

We stopped along the river’s edge and wolfed down every bite.
We’d soon be riding in the dark and trust the horse’s sight.

Our day was done. The sun went down. The ride had gone too slow.
But after dark I never heard, “I really gotta go.”

We finally reached the station. Yes, our patience had been tried.
My body was a total wreck. I’d say completely fried.

So next time when you ride with us, please take my sound advice.
“Leave all the soda pop at home! Next time we won’t be nice!”


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