Springtime in the Cariboo

Frank Gleeson sees the poetry in the life of a rancher during the busy spring calving season.

Springtime in the Cariboo

It was Springtime in the Cariboo and calving had begun

Calves lay on the sidehill with hay up to their chin

I check the cows each hour to see if more’s to come

But the most excitement happened one morning when I took mom

It was about 3 a.m. … a bright and frosty morn’

Clear and cool and light outside with no sign of a storm

Now, we had this old tom-cat that follows us everywhere: the field, the barn,

the tractor cab … it didn’t seem to care

Now, on this fateful morn; he was walking close to mom

But things started happening when the old cow saw him come



We had this old black Angus cow that was gentle as a lamb

But when she had her newborn calf, she became the Son of Sam

Now, I knew she could be snorty and I knew she could be mean

But at protecting her small baby I thought she was a queen

Now, she always did like Betty and she wasn’t mean to me

but the sight of that old tom-cat just drove her up the tree



Now, the old cat, it came closer, and the old cow pawed the ground

And then she made a lunge for it and the old cat ran to mom

I hollered “hey come back here!” but the old cow wouldn’t come

Now, mom stood for a moment and the old cow was getting close

She decided to get out of there or she was going to be toast

So, on that frosty hillside in the moonlit morning chills

was mom, the cow, and that old cat … all heading for the hills.



Now, the old cow’s gone to market and the tom-cat ran away

We often sit and laugh about what happened there that day

Now, I don’t have a stopwatch but I knew mom set a pace

I think she’d have beat Ben Johnson if she’d had him in that race



Now, people say move to town … I say there’s not a chance

‘Cause where could you have this much fun except home, out at the ranch.


By Williams Lake Cowboy Poet Frank Gleeson



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