Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys

It all started with the rocking horse Big H gave Anders for his first birthday. Then there was the book “Cowboy Small” that I couldn’t resist bringing home. Visits to the Harrison horse, Sam, and a trip to the slack rodeo sealed the deal. Anders is fascinated with cowboys.

He doesn’t understand that it’s body-thrashing work for little pay. Nor does understand the ethics or reality of castrating and branding calves. He doesn’t know what it’s like to be out in 5 degrees and spitting snow while calving in the middle of the night. (Although he does know what it is like to out in 5 degrees and spitting snow for recreational purposes.) He just likes to pretend to be a cowboy and say things like, “I put on the saddle and pull the girth tight.”

Imagine his delight, then, when Mogie brought over cowboy hats for the boys. As soon as he saw it, his face lit up and put the hat on and hopped on his horse, Cactus.

The next morning he was ready to ride again. This time he needed boots. (Everything is “need” with this kid. “I need some milk.” “I need to go to the park.”) I lent him my boots; they’re a bit big and he couldn’t walk in them, but he was still pretty excited about them.

Walking Cactus around the corral.

Ride ’em cowboy! Anders gives new meaning to riding bareback.

After a bit of riding he decided he needed a cowboy shirt and cowboy pants. I grabbed some clothes that my mom had given him. Later that day I found some boots at the used baby store. They are still big, but closer to his size.


Cowboy Small rides again.

Time to git along now.

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