Ranger gal

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12
outhouse

I rolled out of my sleeping bag. ‘Twas almost six o’clock. My tent was by the

campfire, and I’d slept hard, like a rock.

I threw the horses hay, and then I headed for the john, a rickety old outhouse.

One worn hole to sit upon.

Right then I started thinking, there’s a restroom down the road! So, I grabbed

two other cowboys. Next stop, a warm commode.

But then a dang old ranger dude came walking out the door. He said, “The

restrooms aren’t for free. Don’t use them anymore.”

I didn’t want to make a scene. He had authority. But the parking lot was empty

just as far as one could see.

We didn’t have a pass to get into the park that day. Just wanted nice warm

bathrooms, but we didn’t want to pay.

So, we left there griping, made a solemn vow to come back soon. The ranger was

a marshmallow. We’d show the big buffoon.

That afternoon at four o’clock we climbed into the truck and drove down to the

restrooms. This time we’d have some luck.

We pulled up to the gate. Now there were six of us in all. We were mighty

fearsome cowboys, prob’ly felt like 10 feet tall.

But then the cutest ranger gal walked up to our truck door. She winked at me and

then she smiled. My jaw ’bout hit the floor.

She said, “We’d like it if you’d pay. We hope you weren’t misled.” I didn’t have a

word to say. My brain had left my head.

She said, “It cost $5 for the park facility.” You should have seen the

wallets flying out for her to see.

We paid our fee and said, “We sure would like to keep the rules.” She could have

asked $500. We were dumbstruck cowboy fools.

We tipped our hats and drove away with egg on every face. The little ranger gal

had put us smack, right in our place.

That night we sat around the fire. By then no one was mute. We slapped each

other on the back and said, “She sure was cute!”

And then the men reflected how she’d played ’em all like toys. ‘Cuz on that day

one ranger gal made mush of six cowboys.

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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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