Grandpa Was A Shepherd
Colaborador: Jane Little Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Many years before I was born, health problems arose
And grandpa lost his dear wife,
He then was left with their five growing children,
And a very, very lonely life.
So he went back to his favorite pastime,
Foreman over many bands of sheep,
The girls were sent to live with a kindly old aunt,
The son had an engagement to keep.
Dad and mom were married - we moved to Wyoming
And grandpa came to live with us -
On a sheep and cattle ranch, miles from town,
We kids needed someone with time for us.
He told us stories of when he was a boy,
His years in the mountains and desert,
Of the trails that he rode, and the fun in town
When he'd stop for an occasional "snort!"
Grandpa loved his flocks of sheep,
He was steward over many thousands in his days,
They weren't to be mistreated by herders or dogs,
They'd be moved onto the best places to graze.
In the shearing or the docking corral,
Some of those old biddies could make an "angel" cuss!
But they didn't upset him till they tromped his "corns,"
THEN - he just might create a FUSS!
One year at lambing time, early in May,
A late blizzard struck, the deadly winds did blow,
This was in the days before lambing sheds,
There was no protection from the fierce winds and snow!
Dad, grandpa, and herders worked night and day,
Saving the few they could shelter in the barn.
When the storm was over - death everywhere -
Poor little lambs, frozen where they'd been born.
We went by train to visit the cousins,
What's that pang! - just a tinge of jealousy?
To find that MY grandpa, is also the grandpa,
To kids in four OTHER families!
I learned to drive, he hitched up the pickup and said,
"Move that camp 'round the lake like a good 'camp jack'."
"But the road's too slanty - it will tip over!"
"Just put 'er in compound and DON'T look back."
As the years began to tell in his actions,
One of the things that he hated the worst,
Was that his legs ached and had stiffened with age
And he had to CLIMB ON A STUMP to mount his horse!!
I remember his last two summers with us,
At his age this "boss-job" was hard to do.
No men around and he had a field full of kids
Playing "hay-men," this was during World War II.
Grandpa was a kindly man,
The "peculiarities" of animals and kids he could handle,
But, as he aged and his health began to fail -
Why the hospitals and pain? - he'd never been fragile!
He passed away in my eighteenth year,
His was the first funeral I was to attend,
This grand old man, (the father of my dad,)
This loved one - my grandpa - my friend!
Donnella B. Dean
May 6, 1986
(Grandpa Buckley died 40 years ago this next September)