Cowboy Christmas

Written by Harris Tobias

Now, a bunkhouse is a barren place Not like a regular home. No fancy stuff, no gewgaws, It’s Spartan to the bone.

Christmas in the bunkhouse Was never much to see. Some mesquite and some prickly pear, But nothing like a tree.

I think it was young Tim’s idea— “There’s somethin’ that we need.” So he went out with his lasso And roped a tumbleweed.

He dragged it in and set it up In a corner by the stove. It wasn’t much to look at, But neither were we, I suppose.

“The thing looks downright scrawny,” Lefty suddenly said. “We need to spruce it up with stuff,” He added, scratching his head.

So he hung his spurs on the tumbleweed And the rest of us did the same. Then we added silver buckles And it didn’t look so lame.

Cookie showed us a trick he’d learned Over at the old Bar Bee: He cut some stars from a pie tin And hung them on the tree.

“Be nice to have some tinsel.” “We got barbed wire in the shed.” “You can’t use no barbed wire.” “Why not?” the cowboy said.

“’Cause Christmas ain’t about fences, Fencin’ out or fencin’ in. Ain’t you never heard the sayin’ ‘Peace on Earth, goodwill toward men?’”

So we didn’t use barbed wire, And that was fine with me As we stood around admirin’ Our cowboy Christmas tree.

“Somethin’s missin’,” said a fellow. “She needs somethin’ at the top.” The guy was right, so we wondered: What else have we got?

There were boots and coats and jackets, For it was cold as it could be. There were guns and tools and lariats, But nothing for the tree.

“I’ve just the thing,” said Cookie, Getting up from where he sat. Then he walked right to the closet And pulled out his new white hat.

He went over to our humble tree And stuck his hat on top. And though we weren’t after perfection, Perfection’s what we got.

Now cowboys are a hardy bunch, Uninhibited and free. Who else could turn a tumbleweed Into a Christmas tree?

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