CODE OF THE COW COUNTRY
It don't take sech a lot o'laws
To keep the range land straight.
Nor books to write 'em in, because
There's only six or eight.
The first one is the welcome sign
Wrote deep in Western hearts;
"My camp is yours, an' yours is mine"
In all cow country parts.
Treat with respectall womankind,
same as yuh would your sister;
Take care o' neighbors strays you find,
And don't call cowboys "mister".
Shet pasture gates when passin' thru;
An takin' all in all
Be jest as rough as peases you,
But never mean nor small.
Talk straight, shoot straight, and never break
Your word to man nor boss;
Plumb always kill a rattlesnake;
Don't ride a sorback hoss.
It don't take law nor pedigree
To live the best yuh can;
These few is all it takes to be
A cowboy an' ..... a man.
__ Omar Barker
This is one fo my Grandfather Williams favorites; he had it framed on his wall and in the introduction to his book on raising cattle. I also know nothing of Omar Barker the poet. But I am confident most of us would do well to follow the poem's advice. Furthermore, never vote for a politician who fails to measure up to this standard. (most of them)