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A Cowgirls Story
By Shirley Morris
© 2012 All Rights Reserved.
I was born on the Kansas plains in eighteen ‘n seventy five or as my pa would say “In the year of our Lord, eighteen hundred and seventy five years.”
It was a wide, brown ‘n yellow place. Flat, with the ‘seption of a wood outhouse and the soddy pa built, made of the earth and wheat grass bricks that he cut to size with a grasshopper plow. Lumber was used on the roof, a window and the door. The lumber had to be brought in by pa and the other homesteaders and he treated it same as if it was gold.
More ‘n naw you could pick out the dark outlines of two, three Indins on that cold, frozen prairie before the sun come up in winter. They bothered me not, but ma prayed for us and pa, bein’ a missionary, took it as his God-given duty to convert their heathen souls for the Lord.
You know what I think? All those Indins who saw the light in pa’s words became whiter than they was red. And our neighbors rested the easier ‘cause of my pa and his words from the Lord.
I was always up before first light. Pa didn’t get his self a son and I was pitiful sorry for him so, I just picked up an learnt what that boy woulda had to do. Some girls woulda yipped an howled like a coyote pup but not me – I took to ropin’ and docterin’ and gentlin’ range ponies like it was some treasure I’d-a earned myself!
An you know what? Pretty soon all the neighbors who were provin’ up all ‘round us learnt than I could gentle those little wild ponies and they started payin’ me a sum to gentle theirs! On the days I had myself a good wild bunch, seems they’d come from miles ‘round to watch me ride the beasts and sometimes get pitched high to the wind but I was always back for more. Soon enough, I stuck to that hurricane deck and didn’t get pitched so much. My backside was much obliged.
Ridin’ those wild, beautiful babes of the prairie became a part of my God-given soul and I found I liked the yips and hoorahs from the crowd as they watched me bring another pony to my own version of heaven.
Down the road, one morning, in my mind, I asked ma and pa for their forgiveness an’ I ran off to join this little two bit wild west show and circus that come to town. I had to go. God forgive me, I found my life.
My name is Prairie Rose Henderson. Don’t you go believin’ anyone who says otherwise!
Set a spell. I have a story to tell.