A cowboy’s word is always good as gold

I was visiting with myself the other day and my thoughts drifted toward how a cowboy was always true to his word and his dealings with his fellow man. 

Yet, when he is telling a story, it will most certainly will get enhanced. In the movie “Comancheros,” John Wayne said, “You should only give your word if you intend on backing it up with action. And if you ever feel defeated, take a moment to remind yourself just how worth it holding yourself accountable will be, both for you and everyone involved. That can be the bootstrap by which you pull yourself up.” 

A cowboy’s word is good as gold, infact, it was not that long ago when business, whether it be one on one and quite personal, or if it is dealing with a banker or a group, was conducted by a man’s word and a handshake. You did not need a written and signed contract. Yes, his word is solid, The Texas cowboy has developed a reputation over the years that gives one pause as you stop to mull it over and ponder the gent telling the tale, the tale itself, and the intent of the tale. 

When he is telling a story, you can bet he will always throw in a little extra just to spice it up a bit. Mark Twain said, “If a spectacle is going to be particularly imposing I prefer to see it through somebody else’s eyes, because that man will always exaggerate. Then I can exaggerate his exaggeration, and my account of the thing will be the most impressive.”   

And I think that is ok because that has been the cowboy way from day one. Of course, there are those that are just naturally gifted in the manner of enhancing a story, at least they can bring it to life or even give it a life of its own. These storytellers are known to have kissed the Blarney Stone and have the gift of gab. Some have been gifted with only a modest amount, while others have a PHD, meaning it is piled high and deep. 

Cowboys tell stories, and it is usually about things they have lived. Now they might tickle your funny bone, cause your heartstrings to vibrate, or more than likely they will cause you to roll your eyes while you shake your head, not knowing what to believe, but these stories are all based on true facts! 

My friend, Rolf Flake, who has been there and done that and is a man of his word, once said, “When a cowboy says, “Now, this is the truth”, you wonder about all the other things he’s said. Remember this-- Cowboys don’t exaggerate-- they just remember BIG.”


Nothing But The Truth!


Now this here is a true story,

At least the parts I did’t make-up,

That goes with the territory,

Like hot coffee in a cup.


Then the old storyteller smiled,

As his thoughts went up an’ around,

He’d reach in an’ get something wild,

An’ make it sound quite profound!


Sometimes a story wants to rhyme,

But you never know for sure,

‘til you give it a bit of time,

An’ allow the idea to cure.


An’ I reckon it is okay,

To spice it up just a bit,

You see, it is the cowboy way,

Adds some savvy to your wit.


But then the facts start coming out,

An’ you get creative in your style,

You can overcome this, no doubt,

Though folks ain’t easy to beguile.


Now you know your facts pretty good,

An’ how to bend them here and there,

 Sometimes these things are understood,

An’ you figured it was square.


So you let your mind drift a bit,

‘Til you land on a good theme,

An’ you know there’s nothing to omit,

Sorta like ridin’ upstream.


You think back to when you did just that,

When you’d stepped down to have a drink,

You had regrets when you reached the flat,

An’ you smelled that dead cow stink.


An’ you swore, upstream you’d never go,

After a drink from the creek,

What lay up there, downward would flow,

Just leave it to its own mystique!


Now this fine story seemed to grow,

Why, it had a life of its own,

It’d be perfect, his technique to show,

Just something he’d always known,


So now, he’d conjured up the facts,

This fine story would be his proof,

About your thoughts an’ how they acts,

His stories was nothing but the truth!

©  Ol’ Jim Cathey


God Bless each of you, and God Bless America!


The Marlin Democrat

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Marlin, TX 76661
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