Henry Herbert Knibbs
Bought him of the Navajos—shadow of a pony,
Over near the Largo draw, runnin' up and down;
Twenty pesos turned the trick—broke me cold and stony;
Then I set to figure as I rambled into town.
'Fore I had the feel of him, twice he like to throwed me;
He did n't have to figure sums 'cause he was n't broke;
Then he took to runnin' and unknowin'-like, he showed me
Speed that was surprisin' in a twenty-dollar joke.
Wiry little Navajo, no bigger than a minute;
Did a heap of restin' up when he got the chance,
But...ever stop a pin-wheel just to locate what was in it,
Findin' unexpected you was settin' on your pants?
That was him—the Largo hoss; did n't take to schoolin';
Relayed out of Calient' into Santa Fé;
Fifty mile of kickin' sand and not a wink of foolin'
When he hit the desert trail windin' down that way.
Once they put a blooded hoss on the trail behind him;
Passed me like a Kansas blow; Largo did n't mind,
Kept a-runnin' strong and sweet. Reckoned that we'd find him
Like we did, in twenty mile, busted, broke, and blind.
Ever see a Injun race? Times I could 'a' sold him
For a dozen cattle—a most interestin' price;
Set to figurin' ag'in—bought the mare that foaled him:
Shucks! Her colts they could n't beat a herd of hobbled mice.
Took the brush and curry-comb—thought he'd understand it ...
Him a-loafin' lazy with his nose across the bars;
Reckon dudes comes natural; as hard as he could land it,
He druv home his opinion while I gathered up the stars.
That was him—the Largo hoss; never saw another
Desert hoss could beat him when he started out to float.
Pedigree? He had n't none; a pony was his mother,
And judgin' from his looks I guess his father was a goat.
That's him now a-standin' there, sleepy-like and dreamin';
Sell him? Thought you'd ask me that. Northern mail is late
Just three hours. No, not to-day, pardner. Without seemin'
Brash—from here to Santa Fé we'll wipe it off the slate.
Bought him of the Navajos—broke me cold and stony;
But I got a roll to-day—tell you what I'll do—
Ridin' south? Well, pardner, I'll just give you that there pony,
If we ain't in Santa Fé three hours ahead of you.
Henry Herbert Knibbs's Other Poems
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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