Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Fence That Me And Shorty Built

We'd picked up all the fencin' tools and staples off the road,
An extra roll of bob-wire was the last thing left to load.
I drew a sleeve across my face to wipe away the dirt;
The young man that was helpin' me was tuckin' in his shirt.

I turned around to him and said, "this fence is finally done.
Five new strands of bob-wire shinin' in the sun.
The wires runnin' straight and tight with very post in line,
The kind of job you're proud of, one that stands the test of time."

Well the kid was not impressed at all, just stared off into space,
And it reminded me of years ago, another time and place
When I called myself a cowboy, I was full of buck and ball,
And I didn't think my hands would fit post augers and a maul.

But they sent me out with Shorty and the ranch fence buildin' crew.
Well I was quite insulted and before the day was through
I let him know that "I'm a cowboy, this ain't what I do.
I ain't no dad-gummed nester, I hired out to buckaroo."

He said, "We'll talk about that son when we get in tonight.
Right now, you pick them augers up; It's either that or fight."
Boy I was diggin' post holes faster than a Georgia mole
But if a rock got in my way, I simply moved the hole.

So when the cowboys set the posts, the line went in and out
Old Shorty's face to fiery red and I can hear him shout,
"Nobody but a fool would build a fence that isn't straight.
I've got no use for someone who ain't pullin' his own weight."

I thought for sure he'd hit me, glad he didn't have a gun.
I turned around to find a place where I could duck and run
But Shorty just walked up to me, as calm as he could be.
He said, "Son I need to talk to you; Let's find ourselves a tree."

Well, he rolled a Bull Durham cigarette as we set upon the ground,
Took himself a puff or two, then slowly looked around.
"Sun, I ain't much on schoolin', didn't get too far with that.
But there's a lot of learnin' hidden underneath this hat."

"And I've got'er all the hard way, every bump and bruise and fall.
Some of it was easy, but most weren't fun at all.
But one thing that I always got from every job I've done
Is do the best I can each day and try to make it fun."

"Now I know that bustin' thought them rocks ain't what you like to do
But gettin' mad, you've made it tough on me and all the crew.
Now you hired out to cowboy and you think you've got the stuff
You told him you're a good hand and the boss called your bluff."

"So how's that gonna make you look when he comes ridin' through
And he asks me who dug the holes and I say it was you.
Now we could let it go like this, take the easy route.
But doin' things the easy way ain't what its all about.'

"The boss expects a job well done from every man he's hired.
He'll let you slide by once or twice, then one day you'll get fired.
If you're not proud of what you do you won't amount to much.
You'll bounce around from job to job, just slightly out of touch."

"Come morning, let's re-dig those holes and get that fence in line,
And you and I will save two jobs, those bein' yours and mine.
And some day you'll come ridin' through and look across this land
And see a fence that's laid out straight and know you had a hand
In something that's withstood the years;
Then proud and free from guilt,
You'll smile and say, "Boys, there's the fence that me and Shorty build."

As told by Red Steagall

A job well done is the best job of all. It is best to do it right the first time around then to have to go and do it over and over because it was not done right the first time around. That goes with anything that we do in life. With our homes, gardens and work.

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Dan and Deanna "Marketing Unscrambled"

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